The effects of the steady retreat of the night and the increasing temperatures of middle spring are always cumulative. By the year’s one- hundredth day (that’s just two days from now), the resurrection of the landscape has a reached a point of no return.
All across the nation’s midsection, the blooming of silver maples and red maples merges with the blooming of the sugar maples and box elders. Honeysuckles are greening the roadsides, breaking the gray and dun of the winter undergrowth.
Sometimes, my religious background gets the better of me. I went to a seminary many decades ago, and I was filled with all kinds of liturgical practices. One of those practices that has stayed with me and keeps appearing in my brain is the genre of the litany. Now the way I learned litanies, the priest would call out the names of saints or different names for the Virgin Mary or Jesus, and the congregation would respond with “Pray for us.”
It’s the last week to sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act—the deadline is Monday, March 31. As people continue to wade through the confusion surrounding the law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced it will offer some wiggle room on the deadline.
March 5th was the first day of Lent, and on that date practicing Christians began a six and a half week vigil for Easter. The Lenten landscape always takes me back to my childhood and to the gray and cold days of waiting for the season to be over. It brings on reminiscence that not only crosses the boundaries of years and snow and the space between winter and spring but also the boundaries of my spiritual or religious upbringing and rebellion and reconciliation.
All of natural history is in my favor today, March 18. If I compress my daybook notes from that day, going back to 1983, I can fabricate a quilt of events, webs of color and sound and warming winds to weave into the frame of a twenty-four hour span.
Then, a circadian shape appears, a four-dimensional psychic set, the radius of casual observation cutting through thirty years, cross-sectioning time – albeit with bias against winter – and I fill in the empty spaces of my imaginary structure of backyard natural history, requiring only this one day to make spring arrive.