Every year it’s the same thing. On some anonymous March morning, I wander into my back yard and stroll around the muddy perimeter looking at dead grass and start picking up hundreds of twigs while taking note of how much more the moss is taking over the shady side of the property. The sky is gray but with a blue tinge to it, and the ground is soft and yielding. My jacket is unzipped.
I stand in front of the fairy garden. It looks undressed without its shroud of snow and ice. A few peanut shells are scattered over the collection of dried leaves, sticks and withered stalks. Then, suddenly, I notice something that wasn’t there last week and gasp.
The Snow Bells are up. The rosy toes of Bleeding Heart have also emerged, like periscopes on a private mission to see if winter is over. Dozens of the tri-fold tips of tiger lilies have sneaked in. All I have to do is stand here and spring just seems to happen. One winter day folds into another, we spend months pulling on winter coats and boots and gloves, we scrape the ice off the driveway, and then all of a sudden, dozens of robins are poking their bills into the dirt and skeins of geese are veeing north, calling and calling. The earth has turned.
Something in me turns over too.
I strike out for my usual 3-mile route around the lake, only this time, when I reach the corner by the market, I turn right and then left up the hill leading into the woods. I don’t even think about it, but follow a desire calling from the top of my head. Just walk, down one woodland trail, then another, and another, occasionally resting on a sun-warmed log or lichen-covered rock. There is not a thought in my head. I am just an awareness drifting through the trees, smelling the morning air, stopping in the middle of crossing a creek to let the waves of rushing water wash my soul from head to toe. After four hours of this, I stroll back home.
Ken asked me where I had been so long. I told him I was just outside looking at the trees and the rocks and the birds and things.
“Just medicating, eh?” he asked.
“Yep,” I smiled. “Just medicating.”