I have always had a deep appreciation for nature and the natural world. I have climbed mountains, ( in my younger days ), hiked thousands of miles of North American trails, and still kayak until I can't hold up the paddle anymore. I have many fond memories of the eagles I saw in Maine, the raccoons who ransacked the garbage cans next to our campsite in Vermont, the bear that scared the hell out of us in the Adirondak mountains, the beavers we saw building a dam in Virginia, and the deer that we followed for almost an hour in Bear Mountain State Park as they munched on the tiny shoots on the lower branches of trees, wary but tolerant, of our presence.
I gained an even greater appreciation and connection to the natural world from my mentor, ( who I unfortunately never met ), Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson. In an interview he gave, I think back in 1986, he recalled what the old people used to say in Iceland about the natural world : " Let the tree stand; leave the moss on the rock; don't kill the fly on the window." he had said. He was clear that we should live within the natural world and not try to adapt, or change nature, to suit our needs. I try very hard to live within these boundaries . But... sorry Sveinbjorn, some insects like spiders creep me out and they have to go ! I also realized when I went to Iceland in 2009 how strong and resilient plants and animals can be even in the harshest enviroments.
The other " event " that takes place at this time of the year is the awakening from dormancy of plant life. It amazes me how a tiny green flower shoot can magically break through its seed, or bulb, " spring" to life and fight it's way through the compacted soil to reach the invigorating rays of Sunna's luminescence. That these then grow into a full grown plant, and produce such beautiful flowers is to me the greatest form of magic in the world. Only a caterpillar turning into a butterfly amazes me more ! The trees perform the same magical transformation when what look like dead branches suddenly have tiny buds that soon cover the entire tree in a blanket of foiliage.
This incredible "show' comes to us live every spring. And it is free to watch and better than most of the stuff on cable television. Most people these days are however to busy to notice ! Their lives are too wrapped up in family situations, money problems, or whatever other distractions have crept into their lives to blind them to the beauty that surrounds them. And that my friends is a damn shame, because to me their is nothing more beautiful or amazing than the re - awakening of Mother's Earth, and Nature at this time of the year.
Here is something to think about as you go through your day today. We all receive an average of about 72 years to enjoy life. That means that you only get to see 72 springs in our lifetimes. And some of them will never be appreciated due to infancy and extreme old age ! I am in my fifties now so I figure I only have about fifteen left. I sincerely regret each and every spring that I missed when I was in college, or was working 60 hours a week when I was married. How many have you missed ? How many do you have left ? When you are young your perception of time is that it goes by slow, but when you get older time seems to fly by, and you start to regret all the things you never did or saw. Do yourselves a favor, and go out and really look at nature. Watch a bird in flight, smell the flower at the end of the stem, and truly appreciate the beauty that is the spring. Turn off your t.v., walk away from your computer, put away your cell phone, ( better yet leave it home ) and take a walk in the mountains, or in your local park. Watch the most beautiful event in all the world, the return of spring, and the rebirth of life !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !