Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling

This goofy lifestyle I have fallen into -- warm and sunny in winter, cool and rainy in summer -- has the advantage of being able to dispense with heating and air-conditioning, which cancels my carbon footprint for four air flights a year. As for spring and fall, there's no place I would rather be than a place like New England, where I can watch the grand spectacles of nature stirring into animation and closing down.

Plants and animals in non-tropic climates have devised strategies for dealing with winter -- hibernation, migration, annual life cycles. Humans invented clothing, and jazzed it up with fashion. North Face jackets and Ugg boots are our way of staying in place and awake through the cold.

And now it's May Day. (Please click link, especially the Catholics and ex-Catholics among you.)

The garden and woodland and hillside and vale along the Path are waking. Goldfinches and bluebirds in the community gardens, an oriole at the brook. Spring peepers in the water meadow. Wood anemones and bell flowers and mayflowers in the woods and along the verges.

The planet leans into its curve, tips its hat to its star. Its juices flow northward. Creatures stir in their burrows. Blood stirs in the veins. And I remember pretty Betty D., in her tiara of May-Day blossoms, chosen by the nuns to crown the statue of the Virgin, my heart thumping madly as the girls in white dresses process down the aisle, bouquets in hand.