What I like so much about living in the north is that when the world explodes with growth and greenery, it really explodes. The tropics, while always beautiful, are always green, and I think there’s a chance of taking that green for granted. If you woke up every day and always saw green, you wouldn’t think much of it. It would just be the way things are. You might say to yourself, “Is this all there is?” But in the north, there is the yearly promise of complete annihilation of that greenery that makes its return so poignantly sweet.
A promise of annihilation? How can those two words appear together so casually in the same sentence? But it is a promise, a hidden gift. It says: All will soon be destroyed, so savor this joy while you can. All will soon be a world of white snow and ice, so treasure this memory in the deep vaults of your heart. All people will fall to their knees in despair at the loss of everything, yet will once again be lifted to the heavens when the season returns.
|The promise of green at the Whiskeag Creek in Bath, Maine.|
So we do savor it, every tiny bit of it, every blade of grass. We do treasure the beauty and the ease that come with it, storing the memories away like the greatest treasures of kings. And we do fall to our knees in despair when we lose it all, agonizing over the complete barrenness of the world around us, until the green returns and our hearts soar to the highest heaven.
Out of great pleasure and bountiful life comes complete destruction. Out of destruction and total annihilation comes the sheer joy of new greenery. It is a promise that the Great Alchemist always keeps.