Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Spring: Can You Feel It Coming?

Humans are such funny creatures.  As far as we've evolved, we still sense the lengthening of daylight after the winter solstice. It's not just the longer days we sense, but perhaps even more, a change in the quality of light.  With the darkest days of the year behind us, we come out of our virtual caves where we've been holed up all winter.

Something innate, instinctive, some primitive part of our brain tells us that winter can't last forever, and the makings of its demise are already in motion. Perhaps, risking blasphemy, we are all Pagans at heart, emerging to worship the returning sun.

When I was eighteen, I wouldn't have noticed the subtle changes, would not have sensed the slight shifts. I hadn't learned to observe, to tune into the little notices that nature was posting all around my world. It took a rare sixty degree in February day to pretty much hit me over the head before I sensed that there was change on the horizon.

But, thirty plus years later, I'm discovering some glorious gifts that have come with age. One of which is how much more easily I recognize what that primitive part of my brain is telling me. Glorious, indeed, to pick up on the approach of spring, to grasp tiny cues that give hope to my winter-weary heart.

Things like feral cats-- rather than  hiding somewhere protected from the weather, in February come out and curl up in the  sunshine.

For the last week, the birds have been singing spring songs in the mornings.

The alder trees have pushed out their catkins, and I saw a newly emerging skunk cabbage in a swampy area along the community trail.

Tree buds have begun to swell, and the tops of maple trees are tinged pink with new growth.

And standing on the back porch, looking out over Rough Run hollow illuminated by a waxing moon, I shiver, but remain, knowing it's far too early to hope for spring peepers, but it's enough tonight to hear the sound of the creek rushing through the valley below. To know that the ice can no longer contain the late winter song of open water.

All things that in my youth would have gone unnoticed, unheralded, and unappreciated.  But, now? Well, here I am, blabbing to you, hoping that you'll start to take stock, or even think of something you noticed recently that whispered in a shout, "Spring is coming! Have you noticed!"

                         Pink tops of maples where new growth has begun.
                                            Skunk cabbage emerging.


  1. It always does come. lol. Beautiful post that makes me feel like going outside and taking in all the magic. Gives me hope. We're still in the midst of winter here, but the climax is passed and the resolution is in full swing. I saw a porcupine yesterday!

    1. A porcupine! That is so neat, Tanya. I've seen two in my lifetime. and one was roadkill. We are just south of their typical range in Pennsylvania.

      I hope you got to step out there and take in some magic :-)

  2. I love beginning to sense the approach of spring! It is innate, in a way, I think light and the lengthening days have a lot to do with it. Suddenly you notice it's easier to get out of bed in the mornings!