“Not again, I couldn’t possibly,” the Earth groans in the weak April sun.
The ice melts and the snow recedes yet again. And everywhere are grey and broken reminders of last year’s life, hanging now in strange places from trees and rocks, reminding us of how short our time really is. I seem to hear them whisper, “I was once like you,” but I know it is just a trick of the wind. At least, that is what I tell myself. I turn my eyes from the dead vegetation. Let the dead bury the dead.
The winter’s beating and damage is now in full view, and we are no longer fooled by the pretty white snow—the snow that hid so much. The land has been ravaged. The white velvet blanket is torn and shredded beyond repair, even though winter still tries to patch it up. Little did we know what was taking place beneath that beautiful wrap. Perhaps it is just as well. “I was once like you,” drifts slowly by again.
A tiny chickadee sings a song high up in a tree, a song I had quite forgotten until hearing it again. Each year I seem to forget it, and each year I am reminded. The birds are patient with me. The robins are seen here and there now, too, and the skies are no longer silent and white, but pocked with winged creatures.
The drum beats of the Lord of Winter are at last receding back into the forest from whence they came. I have no doubt they will come again, but for now it is enough to listen to the chickadee.
“Up! Up!” she says. “Be quick now!”
I tell her I couldn’t possibly, not again.
“Yes, again!” she sings. “Again and yet again!”
It’s a happy song she sings, and somewhere off in the distance a male cardinal sings his beautiful song as if in competition.
“He’s such a show off,” the little chickadee remarks. “He always has been.”
“But how,” I ask her, “How in the world are we going to repair all of this?”
I feel that I myself am a grey and broken reminder of last year. But just then, two squirrels go running by at breakneck speed, one chasing the other for a stolen acorn. You’d think it was a nugget of gold. Perhaps it is. The water from temporary streams rushes by even faster than the squirrels, and suddenly the world is moving faster. The wind is strong and quick but gentler. Something is happening. Like the chickadee’s song, I am starting to remember again.
“Come on, come on!!” she yells back at me. “Are you coming??”
“I thought you’d never ask!” I respond, picking up the pace. It’s time to start again.