Telluride Daily Planet, Sunday, March 11, 2012
In March, the world — an orb — cracks like an egg and life hatches. Sneaks and spills and breaks and whispers out, and we who see and salute it are the lucky ones.
In March, robins return and flocks of little brown birds explode through the sky in elegant rhythmic cursive streaks. In early morning, though the trees may be clothed in sugary hoarfrost, by 10 it has vanished, sucked deep into branches whose fibrous helixes are just starting to quicken with life.
In March, one wonders what the coyotes are thinking while loping their foot pads through mud and crust, looking over their shoulders as the spring morning stirs and then again as the evening’s pink glow grazes the tops of fir trees and then the furry heads and horns of herds of elk. Which coyote muscles relax with the coming of warmer days? Is there more peace in their restless spirit? Does the tight ball they sleep in loosen?
In March, winter’s one-note dry granite gray skies start breaking up like icebergs above our heads, watery blues peeping through the cracks as cloud masses unstick and individuate. Soon, rounded rain clouds will arrive, scudding blimp-like by, heavy in their blue-gray cores but prone to brightness around the edges, to dropping godrays on us like searchlights or spotlights or something. It can still snow in March: Maybe tonight it will snow! But tomorrow that layer of lightweight fleece will start to melt, laying a slick shine on the world, on its wet streets and its glassy puddle tops, all spread out like window-pane pathways.
If we could hear — really hear and fathom — the plinking and plashing of every drop in the month of March, that sound would deafen us, as would the gurgling of the inner workings of the warming earth readying itself to receive and then give back in the form of shoots and buds and roots and eventually leaves and flowers exploding into their bandwidth of sky, their bee-laden lower atmospheres. From that very first drop of spring runoff, that first slow-motion drip off the roof, we hold the kernel of life’s unyielding trek to summer fullness in our palms. Every season is in every season.
In March, an essential stalk called asparagus powers its drill bit through dirt and gravel and offers itself up, so essentially green we are made green ingesting it.
In March I dream yellow and red and pink, of faraway forsythia and strawberries and cherry blossoms, and I dream also of my own violet crocuses lurking in their igloos, undaunted, ready to timelapse into being long before any other flower in the patch. In March, even the houseplants have vertigo, drunk with the notion of longer days, longer rays and of their wild counterparts stirring on the other sides of panes of glass.
In March the great waterwheel of life begins a slow turn yanking everything up with it, even things wanting to sleep in, to remain dormant, because there is no stopping verbs like burgeon and birth, there is no stopping the force of a seed breaking through first its coat, then breaking through the earth, and even through the pavement.
In March, the world is recreates itself. It does this in every calf that drops to the ground and then hoists itself toward the first noseful of grassy air, the first mouthful of sweet milk. It recreates itself in every gathering of droplets that eventually rename themselves pools, or trickles, or currents in a stream. In every wick branch, newly laden with the pressure and squeeze of birds’ feet.
This March, when I feed crows and magpies their morning kibble outside my door, I discover something. That if I scatter it where I want them to land, I can have my path cleared by birds, by their tiny crows-foot tampings. These mysterious winged creatures can work for me, a thundering human, and unwittingly lay a delicate path for me to skip more lightly across into the rebooting world. Maybe this magic will take me to new places.
In March, I think of us humans and the cilia of our five senses coming alive again, reaching tiny delicate waving fingers to the world abounding. What finer things can we hear today, what smaller, finer things can we see? I salute the roots of our personalities, the first paragraphs of stories and our rebirth as the heroes and heroines of our own lives. It is time to remember who we are. Are you the Magician, the Damsel in Distress, the Huntress? The Unwilling Hero? The Soldier? The Hermit? The Beggar? Are you the Faerie, lightly tripping over the tendrils of time?
In March — in a fuller spectrum of light, and powered by the deep hum of life — we recharge.