Green and growing, May flowers blooming,
Love and longing, Nature dancing.
Amid growing energy the vibrations of new life
Burst forth in ten thousand different directions.
- Author Unknown
It's raining outside my window today and temperatures are cold and raw. According to the calendar spring arrived six weeks ago. But, as is typical here in northern New England, it's slow to show its face. The colors of the trees still lean more towards the subdued grays and deep greens and browns of winter, but if I look closely the buds are growing larger and some of the low bushes are sporting small new leaves. The pussy willows have moved beyond their initial soft smooth stage and are now yellow with pollen. And a sure sign of the coming of spring, the tips of the branches of the swamp maples are now decked out in red.
'Soon' I tell myself, as I cling to every little sign that spring is really here.
Here at 45.2538˚N, 69.4455˚W the Earth seems slow to wake up. This is a recurring truth that every year tempts me to move farther south where dogwoods and crocuses were out over a month ago. But, another year cycles through and I am still here. Perhaps my body secretly enjoys this anticipation — thirsting for colorful flowers and to smell the sweet scent of apple blossoms, to hear bird song, and most of all, to pack away my now burdensome winter coat. Down south the yearning for spring doesn't last as long as it does here in New England.
Although it feels like an unbearably long wait, I know that spring will show its face soon and that before long I'll be able to replace the storm windows with screens and walk the beach barefoot without a scarf, hat and winter coat. At this time of year it can be warm in the woods only a half-mile inland from the beach, but if you're beachcombing you want to be prepared for a chilly wind that will feel like it's 'blowing off an ice cube'.
Winter doesn't give up easily around here. But, we're hardy souls and we hold on with hope knowing that winter's grip is slipping a little bit more with each passing day.
Today is Beltane, one of the fire festivals in the Celtic spiritual tradition. It carries the message of hope and potential, and the promise of success. All of life is bursting at the seams with fertility, and the land is humming with activity. Despite the lack of flowers or the recent sighting of snow flurries I spotted a few days ago, this magical time of joy-filled energy marks the height of spring and the beginning of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. Although this year in our human world joy is sharing space with more ominous and challenging energies, nature continues to expand and grow – perhaps even more so, now that our human presence has softened on the planet.
I am so grateful for the consistent wild presence and beauty of the Earth. The buds on the chestnut tree outside my window continue to grow seemingly unhindered by any perceived challenge. I take this message to heart and am reminded that we, too, can move through these extraordinary times and grow in ways that this new cycle is offering up to us. Spring is here and life is blooming!
Wherever you are may the beauty of this day inspire new growth in your life.