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Not Settling for Beauty
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I am not feeling the spring here. The weather is very confused. It is not spring, but it is not winter, either. In January, late January, I was somewhat appalled to see a maple, a rose bud dogwood tree, and some others budding. I knew this was not a good sign. I knew that if this was spring in January, that things were even worse than I thought. But sure enough, a few little cold snaps have come along, with temps in the teens, and heavy winds to go with them. Right now, today, it’s mid-forties, and heavy winds again, gusts to 39 mph.
I’d like to tell you I am feeling spring. But its early March and well are scheduled to have highs in the 40s, lows in the 30s, for the next 10 days or so.

I can remember in previous years; I’d be aching for spring to come right about now. But these temps, this weather is about right. Real spring arrives here in mid-April or so, pretty much with a bang, temps heat up quickly, and things sprout in clamor, back to life. As if they are in fact spring loaded beneath the ground and inside the trunks of trees. Still, some trees don’t fill out until mid-May, and even in spring I am learning, patience is something to watch. The earth has it. The trees have it. I want to have it.

So, I’m watching and waiting. Not really trying to jump into spring right now. Just feeling the fullness of this unsettled weather. Noticing I am unsettled with it. Allowing being unsettled to be just what is going on. Not trying to hack it or optimize it. I am finding this is helpful with my own health issues which are also a bit unsettled right now.

I’m unsettled now, and I’ll be unsettled going forward. Sooner or later, I’ll get some news, or a survivor will. I’ve had my little scares already that I know are very tiny dress rehearsals for something bigger. In an odd place out and about a few days ago, I practiced meditating on a happy death. It was a good practice, it went well, despite the cacophony and foreign feeling circumstances around me. What is more foreign to us than transformation?

I am hoping when my last personal winter comes, I can practice so well. To settle into surrender into the most unsettled experience of them all.

There’s such a thing as a happy death; I can feel that it’s possible, if not yet probable for me. I would, here’s my aspiration, to be like the trees right about now, full of sap and embryonic buds, for their spring, which we know will come, just not when. I hope I will be able and ready to spring into the adventure at the end of this incarnation. A high aspiration. But why else be able to imagine extension, if not to execute agency to reach towards the essence of the season?

In the meanwhile, when spring comes to this patch of earth, I will greet it. When I finally feel this coming spring, I will be up to the nursery and down into the ground to plant new native pollinator plants, to add to our growing garden.

I feel like I owe it to the bees, the moths, the increasingly infrequent butterflies, and to the hummingbirds, too. Despite all the challenges we have given them, they do not abandon us, but gamely return, with dignity against our resistance to let their lives more freely. You have to love life. It just does not give up.

It’s inspiring. To inspire. To breath in a season of full oxygenation. And to expire, to release the dross of this grand breath and all the exhausted unusable portions of this life, this earth, back into the great mystery that everything is drenched in. Expiration is a secret: we do not well know. How does the earth take what we call waste and transform it into something so vitally life giving?

The plants are praying with oxygen. We pray back to them, with exhalation, our relaxation, our release into the trust of that great secret.

At the end, we too will be released into a great secret, one you can’t find in a code, a diary, a religious text. It is a secret that, like a family tree, spreads itself wider and wider. Like space itself. Space. Something so often something we want more of, something we hunger for. Our last season session will be generous beyond
imagination. And will be indefatigably real.

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