April 6, 2013

North Cairn: Spring's just waiting in the wings

(Continued from page 1)

I'm not so much winter-weary anymore as I am dreaming of the glut of summer's simple gladness.

It will come with a symphony of sound behind it, I hope, the tunes of birds from twilight to twilight -- the mockingbird trilling well after dusk, to dawn's chaotic chorus, the several species worked up as though sunrise had never occurred to them before as a new beginning.

I've been watching the hawks asserting themselves, riding the thermals, carried aloft with the currents, and have felt my own heart lighten and strengthen as the raptors carve pathways like the sign of infinity etched in the apex of the day.

And now, as the season seeps into the woods, I wait like a disciple for the nighthawks near dark, the owls soundlessly soaring past the house. Soon enough, my world will be crowded with the creatures with wings.

My calendar is scribbled full of migrations unimportant to most people: the return of the robin, a woodcock watch, a herring run, an owl prowl.

Even ants. Ever.

My companions always are here: the deer drifting like specters through the closing dark, an errant moth sputtering at the lamplight, a stink bug hitching a ride on some old kindling, the fisher (or fox?) screaming at a moment once described as "the dark night of the soul."

Only now, with the light lingering longer and the day extending itself in a protracted dusk, I sense them more, see them frequently, follow their antics and their serious business of staying alive. We aren't the only ones running around, bustling in our own self-interest, this matter of making it through the day.

Whole nations, as the writer Henry Beston described them, whirl with us. The truth is we are never alone.

North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:



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