A season ago, I walked over a hundred miles at what I felt to be the same rate as the advance of spring.
With a pack of about twenty pounds and a sore hip, I moved so slowly that the microclimates of farms and yards and roadsides and woods, closely observed, altered my previous sense of time and place, a sense that had been based on routine or schedule or obligation.
In stead of that disconnection, in this pilgrimage, I sensed something like a congruence of movements – mine and the season’s - so that I actually seemed to follow alongside the transformation of the land, which was being led and transformed by the sun.
I felt attached to, felt myself to be a part of spring in that particular habitat. I was walking, it seemed to me, in sync with the spin of the earth. If, for example, the height of the roadside ferns was different from one day to the next, I felt I was a witness, validating their growth, joining with, growing with them. Instead of suddenly coming upon them by a roadside, I knew them almost intimately.
I realized afterwards that if I had moved more quickly, or with some ulterior purpose, or if I had been attempting to meet a deadline or had been competing with someone else, or had promises to keep, then I could have lost track, fallen out of step with the blossoming of apple orchards and violets and the easy turning of the winter wheat.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the first week of middle summer. In the meantime, go slowly, otherwise you might get ahead of yourself, that is, ahead of the spin of the world.