• Austen Hayes

Winter-Ending Walk

"When all the world appears to be in a tumult, and nature itself is feeling the assault of climate change, the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter will be forced to relent once again to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring."

~ Madeleine M. Kunin

The Creek

This morning's walk was particularly lovely.

Feeling the wind against my face - thinking it won't be this way for long. Signs of winter's departure are there in the changing air...in spite of a bitter chill, a spring-like aroma. I felt a moment of sadness at its leaving. Yes, there have been challenges...confinement, too many days when blizzards made trips to the city impossible, digging through deep snow left at the end of the drive by the lumbering, menacing plow, the gear-shift in my aging car, tired after many winters, refusing to move...ice underfoot, thinking the dogs, only energized by cold, will surely pull me down. But, it's the getting through, the meeting of the difficult, the standing up to the contest, the finish-line in site, that lets you know you're still o.k.

And, it did go fast. Everything goes fast these days.

So, I paid particular attention...memorizing all around me...looking in every direction. Frigid-looking snow covering the land, small, tender trees upright to the sun, soon to flower into the delicate, palest-green leaves. Further back in the woods taller, mightier trees stand by, patiently waiting for winter to pass, watching over the young ones, admiring their fortitude, their limbs, challenged - but never broken - in spite of all they've been through.

As I huffed up the long, steep hill, shoulders rounded, I gave myself permission to let them slump forward...the added push needed against a hard-pressing wind. What a hearty feeling! So alive...

On my return I stopped at the the creek...it wasted no time freeing itself with hints of warming temperatures - animated, seeming to dance over rocks. Sun, movement, hope, expectation of good to come...this for us all.

Happy Spring!

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