I am writing this accompanied by the gurgle of Water from the melting Snow on the roof. I have placed receptacles to catch some of the melt...the Earth seems muddy and wet right now, but it will not take long to dry. On a well Water system, I have learned to use what Nature provides, with regards to precipitation, as much as I can.
The splashing of the running Water is loud to my ears at first, and then recedes to the background. During the last week, much Snow has melted. I am beginning to see the blackened remains of last year's garden. I wonder to myself...How will I ever get these garden beds presentable?...and even as the thought drifts through my mind, I know it will all get done eventually.
It's the way of it, in the Spring...
It is a strange sort of Spring this year. While I have so much to be grateful for, there are other things which I am not so joyful about. I find, to my dismay, some days...more days than not... that I am tending to more negative than positive thoughts and emotions. My intent is to change that not so insignificant way of being.
As I begin to rake the Flower beds, ridding them of the blackened Leaves and Stalks still standing, even after five feet of Snow covered and surrounded them for most of the Winter...as I begin, I wonder if that is just the way of it, too...the late Winter-early Spring blues that can take hold, darkening every thing and thought with a touch of the same black the Leaves hold...
When I look back over the sixty Winters of my life, I believe I've felt this way every year at the end of the season...perhaps the feeling is a part of the rites of Spring.
There are flocks and flocks of Birds travelling through, on their way to their breeding grounds. It sounds like I'm in an aviary when I open the doors to the outside...shrieks and twitters and pure musical notes surround the Forest. The bird feeder requires filling every few days...watching who has fought and won for the best access to the seed takes up much of my time.
I must remember, I tell myself as I pull on a mushy Peony stalk, finally breaking off the recalcitrant thing, that all these Birds and their babies become drunk with joy and seed and Spring. They fly every which way, with no concern for glass windows and doors. Should the window or door be open...well, in a Bird's reasoning, there is no cause not to explore the dim interior of our home.
And if the door or window is closed, the sickening thumps tell me a Bird has flown directly against it. Most times, Birds recover, after a period of rest and recuperation, where they all look surprised and shocked at the clear obstacle that stood in their way.
Some Birds, of course, cannot survive the blow...these we bury in the garden. And some of them...it seems to me as if they appreciate that shocking smack into the glass. I will watch the same Bird try over and over again to fly into the house. Over and over again, he will hit the glass.
This, to me, is the definition of insanity. When something doesn't work and one keeps doing the same thing continuously anyway...doesn't it seem like there must be something not quite right?
As I rake Limbs, Leaves and Fir Needles off the half-frozen Flower beds, I muse over Lucky, who has not bounced back after Nate's death.He has turned into a completely different Dog, with hardly any interest in anything at all.
On the day of Nate's death, a huge herd of Deer came to the lower gate. It was the oddest thing I've seen. Deer are always around here, but rarely in such large numbers, all at once. It seemed they were not interested in food or even browsing for it. They stood at the gate, looking up at Lucky, who sat on the deck.
There was no sound out of either Lucky or the Deer. If communion was occurring, it was done in complete stillness. It felt very like the Deer were offering their condolences to Lucky on the death of Nate.
After some time had passed, I continued my raking, leaving Lucky and the Deer to stare at each other. I could feel the empathetic energy in the Air, be it in a personalized manner or not.
The young Deer I have written about previously stood at the very entrance, his nose barely able to clear the top of the gate itself. The whole scenario...the youngster and the herd of Deer behind him... seemed so remarkable to me.
I felt a little as if I was intruding on some peculiar, private moment between the Deer and Lucky and after a time, I left them to it.
There was another moment, just before Nate's death, where I felt I was intruding in a particularly human way. I took a photo...and as soon as I did, I knew that photo would be a private one.
Nate was lying on his side on the floor. Lucky was in his bed. But suddenly, Lucky got up and lay down facing Nate, nose to nose. Knowing that Nate would be gone the next day, tears came instantly to my eyes...and then the practical, unbelieving side of me took hold for a moment. But the two of them stayed that way for a long, long time, nose to nose.
The practical, unbelieving side of me fled. I knew I was witnessing an extraordinary act, where the two Dogs were saying goodbye.
The photo I took will remind me that Animals mourn, just as we do, but that they also have an extra sense which allows them to communicate without words.
I am thankful that I am blessed with a strong sense of awareness. I would not have missed either of these two events for the World. Had I been focused entirely upon myself and how sad I felt, I could easily have overlooked them.
The Snow continues to melt. I have decided the gushing gurgling of the Water from the melting Snow is the sound of Spring to me, almost more than the Bird song.
When the gurgling stops, Winter has ended.
And Bird song has just begun..