Springtime in Cache Valley is marked by many events. It is a seasonal turn full of unrelenting life. The signs and the emotions they revive are marked by the beauty found in every hour of the day: from the day’s first bird songs, reviving the world from slumber, to their last evening’s lullaby.
Spring is also the time when warmth returns to the sunlight. After winter, I’ll often need to sit in the celestial rays to warm my bones, always hesitant lest snows reappear in May and I get soft. When I allow myself finally to ceade, the feeling of sun on my bare face in spring can only be described though as relief.
In the sun, too, one can’t help but breathe the smell of thaw, green buds, and warming winds. The many scents of earth remind me of its very mineral diversity, often thought of as monolithic, but truly clay, limestone, sand, gravel, and granite each fill the air’s bouquet differently in the wet and dry. These and other reminders which revise winter’s nostalgic fog breathe fresh life with even more vivacity.
Spring also brings with it labor, for who can truly say to love than those who enjoy its work? For me, I do love chores, especially in spring. I enjoy mowing the lawn, pruning trees, tilling the soil, and starting crops just as the Swede enjoys stacking split wood. It is a natural work to us both, a good work, and a labor of provision.
Additionally, these simple actions signify belonging to something larger than myself. It is how I honor the world around me: by acting in accordance to an older, more widely-shared order. I act as spring dictates, and thus am realized as its agent. Tis good to be an agent of such.
It also feels good to allow myself to slip into this annual cycle with such depth. I work on this, for no worthy cause is without struggle. I engage myself to grow the better in me as I make the choices of participation with the goal that one day it shall be habit. I leave the windows ajar to hear the birds and let their sage songs smudge my home. I walk often and stop to feel the catkin buds, listen to the absence of traffic, and smell big firs. I tend to wildflowers with my attention, nurturing tomorrow’s colors, medicines, and gifts.
So this spring, I invite you to try it on: being an agent of the season. Even if you do not garden, begin by experiencing what a new-born leaf feels like. Even if you do not mow, grab a blade, breathe it in, and harvest into your mind the scent. Even if you cannot understand them, open the windows and let the birds morning revelry and lullabies bookend your days. In these ways, we can all do good and live still by spring’s way.
I’m Patrick Kelly, and I’m Wild About Utah.
Images: Image Courtesy & Copyright Patrick Kelly, Photographer, all rights reserved
Audio: Contains audio Courtesy & Copyright Kevin Colver
Text: Patrick Kelly, Director of Education, Stokes Nature Center, https://logannature.org
Included Links: Lyle Bingham, Webmaster, WildAboutUtah.org
Spring’s Way-Additional Reading
Parkhurst, Emma, MS, CHES, Eight Stress-relieving Activites to Give You a Break from the Coronavirus, USU Extension | Davis County, https://extension.usu.edu/covid-19/mental-and-emotional-well-being
Brower, Naomi, Four Tips for Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude, Utah State University Extension, https://extension.usu.edu/covid-19/mental-and-emotional-well-being
Brower, Naomi, Finding a Cure for the Sheltering-in-Place Blues, Utah State University Extension, https://extension.usu.edu/covid-19/mental-and-emotional-well-being
Swinton, Jonathon, Remaining Coronavirus Calm, Utah State University Extension, https://extension.usu.edu/covid-19/mental-and-emotional-well-being