Anyone who lives on earth experiences seasonal changes. Their extremes vary according to distances from the equator and/or the poles. If you are paying attention, things are in flux: there are temperature variations and differences in the amount of light/dark, there are changes in foliage, animal behavior, weather – all affecting activity and mood. Most of us are invigorated by spring, we just can’t help it; as if we are going through some kind of new growth as the rest of nature is.
The temperatures have been too warm and sunny too early for this time of the year and this causes nesting rituals among birds working in a kind of frenzy. They have been at it for well over a month: the chattering, the erratic flying to and fro, singing and fluttering. And then, just as quickly, one day the warmth halts, temperatures drop, cloud cover returns. The silence resumes, the silence of winter hasn’t fully let go. The quiet is palpable. Winds pick up, it is cold again and the birds have disappeared. Where do they go on such days?
It is these transitions of seasons and of weather that are special to me. The fickle times, when you think all has changed rather abruptly, but it is still in the process of changing. We are reminded of just a month or so ago, not so very long looking back, but how quickly we forget when we are warmed by the sun. Seduced, really.
It is that fluctuation, that instability and changeability, that creates a placeness. It isn’t found in the lingering seasons so much as in the fits and starts, these transitional periods, the combination of beginnings bumping up against endings. The contrast between the two and the intersection of “I am here” and “here I go,” just for the momentous joining of two opposing forces, a kind of cosmic tug-of-war.
The air has a chill, the sun is nowhere to be seen, there are cherry and apple blossoms shivering in the wind, tulips bend their thin stalks over toward the ground. It is yes and it is no. The natural forces are struggling to see who will win today, a game of strategy. I walk along blooming flower beds and I pull my coat close together to keep out the cold wind. Two days ago there was no coat. There is indecision all around. Already a robin’s eggs have fallen to the ground since there are not yet any dense leaves to hold the nests in the branches.
This contrast of pushing and pulling, warming and cooling, starting and stopping creates a physical presence from the air and light, a space where we can see ourselves caught in the flow, making us aware.