70th Spring ~ View from this Hill

This west-sloping hillside on Richardson Hill has been my home for five years now. And with this fifth Spring, it is no less marvelous to once again witness the land at last shedding its somber Winter garb and slipping into the first tender greens. Its arrival at Lightspring Glen was decidedly sharp-edged this year. The occasional tease of a warm, sunny March day barely helped me hold out against Winter’s persistent chilly grip. And then one morning last week I opened the bedroom curtains and was greeted by emerald green grass, the lawn transformed overnight! At the edge of the yard the recently-returned Wood Duck pair was paddling about on the pond’s dark mirror in their handsome Spring finery.

Such excitement now stirring in the trees, rising sap teasing leaf-bud flowers open. A haze of red and amber orange is spreading a gauzy cloak among the hardwoods on the hillsides. The days are steadily expanding and filling with light, my eyes opening soon after 5:30 to dawn’s sweet coming. The April dusk lingers past nine in pale yellows and turquoises, robins serenading the first stars…All is well…Cheeri-o, Cheeri-up, Cheeri-o….

How remarkable and at moments how truly amazing it is to be here still in the wide, beautiful World this seventieth Spring, this not-quite-countless round of my life’s spiraling journey. Another Aries’ re-charge, back once more to my fiery roots. I’ve been journaling for ever so long, and penning blog posts intermittently since 2011. I wonder is there something new for me to say in this Spring? There’s a “book in it”, I’ve been thinking. Yes, much more than one journal or blog post could hold. And in truth I’ve already written something of a memoir, Answering Avalon’s Call: the Mystical Memoir of an Earth Healer. (my promotion-minded Self suggests you check out its page right here on GoldenSpiralJourney.com!)

This seventieth Spring is soon to find me returning to Glastonbury in time for May Day, Bealtane, going home to the place of a mystical re-birth at my life’s mid-point in 2001. Nearly twenty years further along how vivid it is, this promise of transformative renewal yet again that awaits me on the Isle of Avalon. I am very ready. Over these last months of Winter’s quiet withdrawal I have mused over what new seeds want planting. The composting work of the cold and dark have rendered all that no longer serves into fresh and re-vitalized soil, a potent mediumfor the growth that desires to begin.

In the yearly rituals of resurrection and nourishing renewal that this Season brings, I am recommitting to memory a favorite Mary Oliver poem, particularly poignant as we are for the first time without her Earthly presence this Sweet Season. It is, I think, the fourth year I’ve shared it in these Earth Pilgrim Notes…I am liking the tradition. And while our dear Mary O. is now elsewhere, there is not far off a black bear rising from her sleep.

And so I offer this exquisite poem once more. May the perpetual hope stirred for me by these words and images breathe a spark in you of something that is vital and seeking renewal.

All Grace, Carol

~ Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence 
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her---
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

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