I sat on my porch, purposefully, this morning, sipping my cup of tea and watching the sun rise. The sounds of birds full of spring hormones filled the air with music. The sky beamed a pale blue and pink behind a curtain of fresh, infant, yellow-green leaves decorating the towering oaks and elms and sycamores.
Just one week ago I could still see every tree trunk, branch and limb – the skeletons of the winter forest. I could see the creek through the open canopy, sparkling under the sun as water gravitated toward bigger streams below.
Now, I can only hear the water flowing on a rainy day. The forest is awake once more. Pollen has been dispersed by the winds to what feels like every part of the universe, including my bookshelf, my nose, and floating on my cup of tea. The sap has risen, and leaf buds have broken open revealing tiny, tender photosynthesis factories. Now, there is more green than gray. My view is brighter but shorter. The forest is closing in, and that’s okay.
It is time.
The squirrels are gorging themselves on new shoots and flowers. Our resident one-eyed, fluffy-tailed rodent manages to climb the seventy-five-foot tall red oak each day, nipping off tips of new buds to sip the sweet sap, while a lazier (more opportunistic?) one plays “chicken” with us by climbing up to our bird feeder to steal food.
The bluebirds, cardinals, house finches, and nuthatches are sporting their most brilliant spring colors. A once-raggedy-looking molting yellow-rumped warbler now sports sleek gray, black, and white plumage highlighted with a neon yellow rump and side patches. A few hummingbirds have flown in to sample our flowers and feeders.
The red-shouldered hawks are nesting nearby. We watched them court, flying high into the sky, then spiraling through the air with talons locked. We watched them hop from limb to limb, the male and female playing tag and then mating. We heard them call as they fly through the trees, establishing territory and courting. Now, we wait for young to appear.
Carpenter bees hover along our roof line – the males with their characteristic white faces look us straight in the eye, warning us not to bother their female partners as they go about constructing nests and laying eggs. Ladybugs crawl along rocks, windowsills, porch railings, looking for prey. Wasps and bees flit in and out of view, searching for nectar and pollination stations.
It is time.
The warm spring sunshine invites us to open our windows and doors, to sit out on the porch, to go for a walk in the woods. It compels us to lift our faces and soak in the warmth and light. It promises us that longer days are coming, filled with bounty, beauty, and wonder. The sun reminds us we are part of a vast universe, woven together by space, time, energy, matter, cycles, and “to everything, there is a season.”
The forest is awake once more. It is time.
Peace, everyone. Live your best life.
“There’s days to fall and days to rise and days for making haste. Days for seeking out yourself but no days you can waste.” – John Denver