Friday, April 4, 2014

124. The First Bloom of Spring

Though I have always been an outdoor creature, my majority of my life has been spent indoors. That's a funny thought, right? Living in my privileged middle class existence, I have been able to spend most of my existence in a climate controlled box. People who fall into a similar Socio-Economic Status to me will still complain about the weather. But, surprise, dudes! We only have to endure the weather for maybe 10 minutes a day! We just have to get from our homes, into our chosen method of transportation, and then out of that vehicle and into the building of our destination.

Granted, some jobs might lead to you spending more time outside than others. If you are a farmer, you might be sorely tempted to reach through your computer screen and give my ear a firm, deserved tweaking right now. I recognize that a lot of people work outside, and all of you are way more prepared for the apocalypse than all of us soft-bellied office jockeys. All I ask is that when you find me zombie-fied, that you give me a good, swift death.

If you're like me, though, you might have spent a lot of your life letting the seasons change around you without really noticing the first signs. Yes, it's getting somewhat warmer now. It's 36 degrees outside! IT'S SUNDRESS WEATHER. But as the Earth slowly tilts on its axis, bringing us in the Northern Hemisphere to an angle more amenable to direct sunlight, we don't notice until we're surrounded by greenery and all the snow is gone. We look around one day and suddenly notice that our face doesn't feel like would shatter into a thousand ice pieces with one good sneeze.

"When did winter end?" you quietly ask yourself, wondering if maybe you blacked out for a couple of weeks and everyone's just too polite to tell you that you're still wandering around in your hospital gown, the hospital gown that you're utterly convinced is your remarkably breezy sundress. But then you shrug and start categorizing all the complaints that you'll have at hand once it starts getting really hot, completely forgetting that winter was ever a thing that happened.

Last winter, I was very aware of the brown and white landscape, one endless swath of hibernating earth. There were a few clumps of resolutely green rhododendron bushes, and maybe an evergreen tree or two, but for the most part it was all a sepia-toned monochrome. My eyes adjusted to the 70's-themed color scheme of browns, occasional burgundies, mustard yellows and avocado greens. It was as though someone turned the saturation down. And now I have officially run out of photography-related hogwash-jargon.

But then, quite simply, spring arrived. Quietly, unassuming, gently working its way northward from under the Earth. And for once, I was aware of the change. The first blooms, the first smells of spring, it was all-encompassing. And I was so glad to be part of the change.




5 comments:

  1. Read this last night on the Ocean to Lake Trail in florida, after a 20 mile day. It's nice to see the northern perspective, as we've had "spring" since Thanksgiving by your standard. revery thing seems to go to a lower saturated color her as well, but only in the likeness of vintage, aged photograph from the 90's.

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    1. Sometimes I think I would love living down south, but I think I might actually melt like a popsicle left on the sidewalk.

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    2. our hiking season is just ending thankfully, and i just finished section hiking that spur trail of 70 miles in 4 days. (2 2-day trips, because job). Winter hiking here is quite enjoyable, you should take a look at this little trail section sometime.

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  2. I just pulled into Harpers Ferry on my thru hike. Only withing the past two weeks has spring begun to assert herself. The forest has transitioned from being as mute as a mime in the early morning to opening the day with a symphonic song bird serenade. The color green is peaking out from under the leaf litter. Oh yes, I almost forgot. The insects are out and about too. Let the blood sucking begin. Sisu

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    1. You are already at Harper's Ferry?! DUDE! You're like a rocket! When did you start? Or are you Flip-Flopping?

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