We are now a month into the new year; yesterday was the Celtic celebration of Spring, Imbolc, a feast of burgeoning light, new growth and healing. Hold that thought as cold and snow pounds swathes of the country and here in the Northwest the sky was dark and brooding all day yesterday as rain poured out of the clouds as if it meant to cover the entire earth. Today, however, at least this morning, we are having a reprieve from the incessant rain. I was able to take a walk without having to huddle under an umbrella….easier to see and count new wonders!
With Ireland in mind, my first impression was how very green the world was! This is the season to celebrate moss. As the rain saturates this plant it swells and stretches and grows; now is its chance to flourish and show off all its intricacies and complexities of growth. Having just read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s awe-inspiring book, Gathering Moss, I notice moss everywhere, bright brilliant green and shimmering with rain droplets. I will write more on moss later but for today it was the tapestry underlying and nearly overwhelming all I saw.
Poking up through last year’s fallen leaves, small bulbs were thrusting into light. The daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops are heralding springtime. And the hellebores are beginning to open in the race of early flowers to welcome the season. Forsythia throws its bright yellow spray to the sky with joyous abandon and soon the daphnia bushes will overwhelm passersby with their bracing scent. My honeysuckle vine is greening bud by opening bud.
Crows are everywhere—but remarkably camera-averse—investigating the new growth. My local squirrels are taking advantage of the momentary dry spell to taste the various buds on street trees. I could hear our neighborhood eagle screaming its presence but could not locate which tree where it might be sheltering. Everyone was busy engaging with the moment of respite. Rain makes the Northwest but that blue sky after the downpour makes my heart sing!
P.S. Now that it’s February and I haven’t seen a pine siskin in weeks I put my feeders back up. However, if siskins do show up, I’ll take them down again. I hope my chickadees return. There was a lone Bushtit checking out the empty space the other day; maybe it will get the word out now, if it should return.