I marvel at the trees so heavily endowed with cone there's no way for them to stand under all that potential. Hemlock, spruce and scattered patches of pine, droop. From a distance, the entire forest is rusted over. Pepper-birds, chirpy siskins, filling the airwaves with music, harvesting cone across gray, white and charcoal hills. Rust never sleeps. The woods ring with thrush and robin.
Mornings, I'm filling seed containers with home grown starter mix and though I wake to a skiff of ice, rain, or snow each morning, the late afternoons peak around 60°. Planting never fails to offer that sorely needed jolt, "Pick it up, Girl! There's a lot of living to do."
I grieve the end of winter. I adore snowshoe scrambling across the hillsides, making camp with a book and journal; watching, listening, conjuring. This winter pushed hard with deep, continuous cold and terrific wind, breaking deadwood from the trees, sculpting the mountains and snow across the river flats. Hooked into and surrounded by such a force helps keep perspective.
This year many peers from our community took quick and permanent departure. My friend, Garrison Keillor said about writing eulogies, something like, "if I start now, where would I quit?" I walk with mental recitations of good times spent in and around valley residents who've died and all of us left holding.
It helps considerably that I'm married to the idea of new starts being hatched from rich, old material, including break-up come spring. My winter bridge across the Klehini gave way around midnight. The rush of water soaked snow and ice, suddenly running free, filled the night air with green sweetness.