Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Two days ago, I was suspicious. Today I’m positive. The fields are beginning to turn green! Of course, there’s been a very slight green tinge ever since the snow surrendered. But now, they’re really becoming green! They sound like fields too, when you walk. No more is there the crunch of snow, or the spongy sound of mud, but the whisper of old grass beneath your feet.

Rivers ran through the low places a week ago. After a few days, they subsided into streams, where sunlight winked lazily off the trickling water, like the slowly blinking lights of traffic, when you look down from a high hotel room. Now, only beds of silt remain, sculpted into long curving lines, and dotted by well-washed pebbles.

The pond, so recently glazed by old, rotting ice, is now a glossy, liquid pool. I spent a long time there this evening, trying to capture the magic of reflection with my camera.
I remember how, when I was little, I’d look at the reflection of the yard in the bathroom mirror, and think how exciting the world would be if it actually was in the reverse layout that I saw there. It was the same yard, but somehow it seemed like if only the woods were on the right side instead of the left, that area would be far more exciting to explore. Well, tonight I found myself noticing the reflection of the hills, garnished by setting sunlight, in the pond and thinking, “How beautiful!” Then I lifted my eyes from the glassy surface, and realize that the landscape WAS beautiful, with a beauty I hadn’t seen before.
Strange how a change in perspective opens our eyes to the things that are obvious. Sometimes a limited view, like the borders of camera’s viewfinder, help to define the beauty that we took for granted before.

The wildlife is betraying spring’s stealthy approach, too. Scores of robins hopped ceremoniously in one field, listening for their supper. I spotted four deer feeding on the grass (I told you it’s getting green!) in next field over. Cutting over to where a row of trees would block their view of me, I stalked closer. When I emerged into view, they had already heard me. One stood stock still, staring me down. I froze, my camera halfway to my eye, and stared back, determined to wait until she decided I was a tree and would glance away for a moment. She seemed unconvinced however, of my vegetative identity, and kept watching, while the light faded, and with it my chance of a good picture.

But not only the robins and the deer know that it’s springtime. I looked at the sky, marveling at the bright blue that seemed so unmatched with the dingy beige and green of the fields—I would never have put them together if I were painting the world, but yet, the combination is beautiful. Then I spotted, far in the distance, a dotted line of geese. Something in their dogged, unswerving pilgrimage always seems so solemn. To my mind, they have the final word that one season has ended, and a new one has begun. When I saw them pressing on, their lines undulating slightly with the beating of patient wings, I nodded quietly within myself, “Yes, it’s spring!” For the geese made an arrow pointed north.

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