Thursday, April 17, 2008
respite in the wood
It is an earlier morning for me, woke up around 4:30 instead of my usual 5ish time- coffee in hand, tea brewing. I think too much these days of all I have to do, and yet when I get off work- I find myself compelled to walk to the woods. Spring is happening everywhere, but especially in the woods- it is erupting daily with good news. Stinging nettle is about six inches high now, the brambles of blackberries reaching two feet and ferns are beginning their slow roll to bushiness. I've looked and looked for the little greys, the mushrooms- haven't found a single one yet, but the night temperature hovered around 49 degrees last night, so this might be the day. That will be my excuse for this afternoon's adventure- high of 73, a warmer night, lots of sunshine, plenty of moisture- I wouldn't want to miss the morel's mysterious pop ups any time now. As I sat on a log yesterday, ever so still- still enough to allow the Spring Peepers to cautiously once again begin their love songs to one another, their chorus filling the air- I thought of words I might convey to express my love affair with the woods. I'm not a good enough writer- can't express well enough what a little bit of woods can do for my wondering soul. The green there, this time of year- is of the brightest quality, it's the kind of green that has a fragrance that mixes well with the rot of old logs- a musk and a freshness intertwined. The trees all around- cottonwoods, river birch, ashes, the three sisters (my favorite respite in the wood)- are bulging with buds that are brimming with the fuzz of life, and soon- the leaves will erupt and make their music with the wind. Then my little bit of woods will become a vibrant symphony, an amphitheatre of noise that plays a newer song- every day.
I placed my hand on the earth several times yesterday, checking her temperature- cold and damp, though feverish in the sunny spots. I looked all around and under every brier bush for the yellow painted turtle that I have met in the past every year at this time. His absence should tell me quick enough that he is still slumbering, not out looking for mushrooms yet, he is wiser than me. But I am hopeful, rushing the time the space and the place where I will likely find the mushrooms, the turtle and I are often at odds over who will get the first one. So, in a nutshell- my excuse for not getting done in the fields what should be done, although I have exerted much energy on the less windy, warmer days in planting- I don't want to miss a thing, a growth, a sound. (And mostly, a mushroom.)
Take care and enjoy the day...