Monday, June 6, 2011

The More Things Change...

A doe has hidden her fawn in the front field.   If I drag my chaise longue close to the wren house and sit quietly, I can hear the babies peeping inside while their parents dash from the wren house to the apple tree, from the apple tree to the woods and back again, bearing take-out which the father announces with a song that seems far too loud for his tiny throat.  Our front porch is again besmirched with phoebe poop.  The thrifty phoebes first built their nest there three years ago, and they aren't about to make a new one while this one is still perfectly good.  Yesterday I saw that it is crammed full of chicks.

We are surrounded by nativity scenes, by budding, hatching, birthing, blooming.  How can this fertile, speeded-up landscape be the same that seemed so dead just six weeks ago?  I know intellectually that the pond where a frog is pizzicatoing was so deeply covered in snow that the dogs and I walked over it routinely, but I cannot hear the crunch of my feet, or feel the cold on my face.  The tree branches that alone interrupted the universal whiteness have disappeared under masses of foliage.  I stretch out my typing hand and it comes back redolent of mint, chamomile and thyme.  No matter how I try, I cannot reenter winter.  As Francois Villon said not quite a millenium ago, where are the snows of yesteryear?

It seems to me that we are a species designed for permanence but thrust by mistake into a world of change.  How else do you explain our longing for eternal spring, eternal youth, eternal love?  Yet, at the same time, I know that by summer's end, wearied of the garden, I will long for the killing frost, for the first fire in the wood stove, the first snow.  Maybe what our species was designed for is discontent.

3 comments :

  1. I was just watching a show on Buddha (Sidhartha) last nite, where a woman was saying that the more correct translation of "suffering," when we read about buddha's teaching, would be something more like dissatisfaction, or as you say, discontent.

    As much as I want to be a full time weaver, I am seasonal. And like you will be yearning for cozy fires and sweater weather by August. Though all my time now is spent happily doing gardening or sitting or sleeping in the garden, soon I will let the weeds come and stay as my mind starts to turn to colors and patterns and projects. By the way I wanted to tell you this (a portion of my latest blog post):

    Years ago a friend told me that she was once depressed and went to a therapist who said what she really needed was to get out into the dirt and garden. She did, and it worked. It woke her out of her stillness and energized her soul. So I was not surprised when I read that scientists now believe that soil contains natural bacteria that relieve depression. Discovery Magazine in 2007 posted an article which stated the bacteria, when injected into mice, activated a set of serotonin-releasing neurons in the brain—the same nerves targeted by Prozac:
    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-prozac

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  2. Wow, thanks for this, Jaimie! It will confirm gardeners in what they knew all along, and may even persuade a non-gardener or two to grow a geranium in a pot.

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