The past month, traditionally when the weather turns warmer and the leaves and plants burst forth, I’ve been driving. A family situation has often taken me away from home, and so I have watched the progress of the season from afar. In reflecting on this, I find that it is very comforting to know that even while my life takes new turns and directions, the ways of nature remain constant.
We all know what a slow spring it has been. The month of June has arrived, and the leaves are still not fully out. My tulips are finally blooming. Lilacs? Probably won’t happen from my bush this year. I have seen them in parts south of us. But at that, it still seemed to be on a later schedule than the one that I remember from my life in the city so many decades ago. Our northwest wind continues to blow, keeping the air temperature in the forties, as it skims its way across the cold waters of the lake. The fishermen have kept me abreast of water temperatures, and the big lake currently seems to match that forty-something air.
I’ve learned that even though spring isn’t happening on my preferred timetable, it still is progressing. The familiar colors of chartreuse and lively greens are beginning to show as a brushstroke on the landscape. Soon that will turn to the deeper shade more akin to summer. The birds are busy with nest-building and egg-laying. The early breeders are bringing out their new young ones. I recently spotted an immature blue jay in the pine tree, watchful parents nearby. I’ve heard that the new crop of grey jays is out learning what it means to be a camp robber. And the raven papa has stopped coming in for hand-outs. That tells me that his babies are now out and about learning to forage. I imagine we will meet them one day soon, and the raucous babble of these adult-size juveniles will fill the early morning quiet. (Much to Paul’s chagrin, I might add.)
As I say, the constant pattern repeating itself can be very calming. Recently, I spent some moments on the banks of a river, far from here. I noticed turtles on a log, sunning themselves. Ducks were swimming by, including a new family of little ones. A tree had been chewed nearly through by an energetic beaver. All of these things were so familiar to me, and while I was processing the news and the situation I was in at the moment, it was really helpful to see that nature continues on in her patient way, doing what needs to be done no matter what the calendar says. Some years it will move faster, some years not. But the process will remain somewhat predictable. I like that. It really helps me, always, to spend time outside. Now it seems more important than ever. It’s another lifeline that helps me to clear my mind, to think, and to reflect. I am so privileged to live where I do.