Today is mother’s day, and I have found myself thinking a lot about our great mother, the earth, who gives life to us all. Spring is the season in which I am most acutely aware of the gifts that she gives to us. Delicate blossoms have appeared in shades of pink and white – their soft, gentle petals decorate branches and boughs, before they fall (all too quickly) to the ground. The cheerful daffodils and forsythia have enjoyed a banner year, due to the cooler temperatures this spring, and the tulips are now bursting with brightness.
The miracle of life is abundant this time of year, and it seems that I can actually SEE things growing. This past week has been a bit rainy and the plants have been drinking greedily. Tiny, tender leaves are beginning to unfurl from the tips of the trees like miniature umbrellas. Across the landscape, trees are speckled with yellowy-green, which in time will become the lush, deep green of summer.
Yesterday morning, I was down by the Connecticut River. It was misty and the air was alive with the hum of insects. I could hear several different birdsongs – their melodies dancing through my ears as I tried to pick out each one. I’m pretty terrible at identifying birdcalls, but I just focused on trying to hear and appreciate the sweetness of each unique song.
Droplets of water dangled from the tips of the trees, making them look as though they had been draped with diamonds. I examined one hanging from a hemlock branch, and I could see all the life around me reflected in it like a tiny crystal ball. Small clusters of baby pinecones dotted the hemlock boughs. These pinecones are very small when fully developed – maybe the size of my fingernail, but these tiny cones were just about 3 millimeters long, and still pale green in color. It’s amazing to think that these giant beauties grow from a seed that starts of so small. If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.
I am so grateful for the amazing abundance of life that our earth-mother provides and sustains. And of course, I’m grateful for my own, actual mother, who is incredibly creative, fun, and sensitive. She has always been there to nurture, encourage, and support me. Furthermore, I’m infinitely grateful to her for exposing me to the outdoors and encouraging my love of nature from an early age. She’s not exactly an outdoorswoman, but she showed me enough of the natural world to light a spark that I know will last a lifetime.