|Canada Geese returning to their nesting grounds.|
Syrup season is always a glorious time of year in Michigan. The first spring birds appear, cardinals and chickadees start to sing and goldfinches begin molting into their golden yellow feathers of summer. Snowshoeing and skiing are done until next winter and soon mud season will be upon us. What a wonderful time of the year, when life returns to the land!
I think what I begin to miss most as old man winter drags his feet are the sounds and smells of nature in all her life-filled splendor. In many ways, we're lulled into a restless sleep as winter weeks tick slowly by. The air is cold and dry and skies are quiet, unless the winter wind is whipping bare branches to and fro or sighing through the pines.
|Water begins to flow as ice melts on the Dead Stream|
Hug a tree! So much is going on in the forest. Sap rushes upward from root to branch, sending life-giving energy to the tip of every twig where buds patiently wait to send forth new leaves. The entire woodland ecosystem is connected with energy beneath our feet as roots, fungi and wee beasties move back and forth, chatting in complex relationships we hardly understand.
Yes, it's bound to be sloppy out on the trail and we're sure to have gray days of rain and cold spells here and there. But the miracle of spring life returning to the world only comes once a year and lasts but a few short weeks. Before too long, our northern forests will be filled with green leaves on every tree and we'll hardly recall these glorious days of transition when everything is literally changing before our eyes. So get outside before you miss it! Mud washes off and a warm cup of tea awaits the weary traveler at the end of the road.
Spring is nearly upon us. Where is your place in the interconnected web of all existence? Can you see the strands of living energy all around? Can you hear the pipes of Pan?
See you in the woods,