by Jennifer Louden
Spring started today on the island I now declare as my home. The eagle perched on the old pier told me so. The moss rustled spring under my boots.
My body demanded I shave my legs and pack away my wool socks, baptize my new self with water from the sound, and celebrate my place in the family of life.
Before this year, I had lived my life in sub-tropic and semi-arid latitudes. Until now, spring had been a concept constructed from tulip bulbs gestating in the refrigerator crisper and the freeze warnings for the citrus trees disappearing from the news. Spring was subtle, less rather than more.
Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a sweeping madness of sparkling waves and fat daffodils and pheasants pecking through the emerald grass. A frothy energy plays my spine like a piano, composing a song of listening to this new world. I walk around with a silly grin on my face. Does everybody feel this burgeoning abandon? How can anybody get anything done?
Spring brings an awareness of being part of the whole; the whole that is boundless, sumptuous and A WHOLE LOT BIGGER than the limited me I habitually operate from.
"An, not to be cut off,
not through the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars.
the inner what is it?
if not intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.
Rainer Maria Rilke
What do I mean? As I type this, I hear the seals barking from their buoy lounge in the ocean waters of Puget Sound. The seals are part of my world and I AM PART OF THEIRS. I have evolved along side and in constant interaction with "the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth" as David Abram writes in his brilliant book, The Spell of the Sensuous. An animate earth! That is what this thing called spring is all about. I feel the seals, I feel the creatures around me that fly, slither, and dive and I am awakened because of our interaction.
There have been other moments in my life when I lived in this interaction.
I was pregnant with Lillian when, during my almost daily walks up Rattlesnake Canyon, I had been overtaken with and deeply comforted by a very clear and real sense that everything around me was awake and alive. I remember staring down at a stratified rock that ran across the trail, thinking and experiencing The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life. When I canoed for 3 weeks up a north flowing river to James Bay, or when I turned off the computer and sat outside in the sun to watch and listen and feel the other beings . . . (Is this why bird watching is becoming so popular?). There is a merging and an acknowledgement of all that is. I exit the egocentric, mass marketed, do it now world. The lonely boundaries that are in me dissolve a bit.
I experience the whole. I am not alone.
How will you celebrate spring?
Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of The Woman's Comfort Book, The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life and three other titles. You can visit her popular website at ComfortQueen.com where over 600 articles about self-care, an interactive Inner Organizer, and a wonderful CQ store await you. Jennifer also works with a few clients at a time as a life coach.