Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beauty, Peace and Grace

I haven't been taking the time to show up here the past few weeks.  When I neglect this space, I feel guilty and rueful.  I also feel incomplete.

Then this morning I woke up to a misty grey, glorious morning.  Somber rainy days are my muse.  Thunder, which I heard rumble for the first time this spring a few moments ago, is more manna.

 Finally, there is no snow to speak of in the yard.  I don't see any buds yet, but the birds are back.  There are brigades of big bellied robins hunting juicy worms every day now.  They scamper and scurry like sandpipers on the shore.  Over the weekend, I saw and heard a bluebird during a walk.  I don't know what was more beautiful: her song or the blue beyond blue of her feathers.

The lagoon we sometimes walk around is only half frozen now.  Soon it will be home to tadpoles and eventually frogs.  I am waiting for the blue herons to return.  All summer the prehistoric birds patiently hunt the koi plentiful in the murky waters.  I can do without the geese, but they'll come back too.

The river is rising and her banks are muddy.  She is swollen and bursting at the shores.  The weather woman warns of floods.  It makes me wonder why anyone chooses to live beside the water so at the whim of the endless ebb and flow, but only for a moment.  I'm a block from her banks now, and I always have been close by choice.  I know why.  This morning I caught a familiar whiff of her fertility and it lodged in my throat.  I could taste the ripeness of a memory from my childhood.  There I am again on my friend's tire swing still slick from a spring deluge.  We are holding on tight and her Dad is pushing us.  We are soaring over the bank of overgrown brush and bramble.  We get high enough that we can see the river at the bottom.  We are yelling, Higher!  Higher!  with giddy delight.  It has been a long winter, and we are ready to rediscover our neighborhood and all its inhabitants again...anew.  Age does nothing to mitigate the marvel of rebirth year after year.

The metaphor of nature's renewal is not lost on me today, or any day really.  My Uncle's body will be buried soon in the ground, yet he is risen.  It always amazes me the way that as our bodies rot and decay, so often our spirits simultaneously shine and soar.  So it is that there is beauty even in death.  Beauty and peace and grace.

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