Green & Gold
I can’t seem to stop comparing this spring to last spring — running over and over in my mind how much more beautiful this spring is. Last spring was a train wreck — a fickle brat arriving early, tearing through the wild leaving a swath of frozen blossoms, burnt foliage, distressed trees. This spring is like an elegant beauty, slowly descending the long staircase in her gauzy gown of green and gold, sprinkling white, purple, and buttery yellow flowers as she goes.
In these days of mid-spring when the trees are finally waking up, you can stand at the window and practically see the buds unfurling, pouring out streams of gold and green, filling the grey and brown void of the forest.
Unlike last spring when we were stressing about getting the garden up and running in time to hopefully latch onto the heels of spring, we’ve been afforded time to observe, explore, and even be inspired by the season. One recent morning, on a trip out to check on the peas, onions, and potatoes in the garden, I glanced over to the south end of our property and noticed — maybe for the first time — a pleasant little wooded knoll in the distance, along the edge of our ravine.
In the morning, the sun lit the wispy new leaves like a jeweled crown hanging above the ground. But, when I came back out in the late afternoon, the setting sun shone light upon the forest floor, sending light rushing in a different direction. The hill seemed to be lit from within — sending shadows flying in every direction, and beckoning your feet to stroll through the glowing branches.
I couldn’t resist interrupting James’ work to pull him outside and have him walk over the ridge with me to the spot. I was worried it’d be like trying to find the end of the rainbow or running barefoot toward a mirage, your toes never quite reaching it before it disappears or moves.
But, no, the light stayed put. We walked over the ridge, through the invading army of sumac, and stood there in this magnificent cathedral of soaring maple and ironwood, carpeted by trillium, wild leeks, and the lush brown shag carpeting of last autumn’s leaves. The sunlight from the closing of a beautiful spring day lit the newly-formed leaves like so many glistening bits of stained glass.
James and I decided to turn this place into a special little nook — a place to come and not just watch the sunset, but to be inside of it, somehow, letting the light of it pass all around you as it disappears over the horizon. We’ve got a little bit of work to do, of course, to make it a bit more hospitable — a few trees we need to “branch up” to avoid head-on collisions, maybe a light path to mark out — but that will come in time. What a joy to find a vantage point and a few moments to witness and feel the wholeness of spring before it gives way to summer.