Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thawing out

Like an ice skater, the Earth leans into its curve, tipping its northern continents towards the Sun, packing more sunlight into every square inch of surface. The polar vortex we heard so much about these past several months creeps back towards the pole and winter loosens its grip. And here I am, as I should be, as I must be, to welcome the New England spring.

To be sure, I missed a few of the warm-up notes. The skunk cabbage. The return of the red-winged blackbird. But I hope I'm in time for the mourning cloak butterfly, the one butterfly that winters over as an adult and takes flight on that first warm day when we know that the snows are well and truly gone.

A squadron of Canada geese honked their way northward over the campus this morning; I trust their instincts more than I trust AccuWeather. Now I wait for the unfolding of spring wildflowers along the path, the pleaful paired leaves of the wild-lily-of-the-valley, the drooping blossoms of the bell flower, the wind-song of the wood anemone.

Soon, the fiddlehead ferns along the banks off the creek. The voluptuous lips of the pink lady's slipper. The blaze of the oriole. And suddenly its summer.