I think that to characterize spring as an incorrigible flirt is really not a stretch. At every turn, this jezebel is capable of all manners of seduction, and her wildness constantly diverts my attention toward everything that is not me. The American anthropologist Anna Sting describes this experience as ‘looking around rather than ahead.’
I think spring is manifestly more verb than noun, more push than pull, more up than down, less empty than full, and more green than brown. As the earth begins to warm, I sense that the cyclical nature of spring comes not from the periphery but from its core, and without fail, the final spin of winter halts and releases a palette of hues verdant and supple. Like recovering from a stubborn winter cold, spring is an open invitation to lean into it all and dismiss the mental chatter.
In springtime, I see conditions happening all at once, bud by bud and leaf by leaf. Iterative patterns unfold with biological precision and defy all explanation.
In Confessions, 11:21, Saint Augustine asks: ‘In what space then do we measure time passing?’ My mind no longer is an enclosed space for reflection but an enlarged field, real and imagined. I believe life on earth is governed less by time than by its weather. Weather patterns influence every particle in its path, and to be under the spell of spring is to succumb, abandon, release, and reawaken your senses. It’s spring’s conspicuous swelling that “leafs” outward to greet the sun.
Imagine how it is that this energetic conspiracy of bright sky and God’s green earth wins winter over, again and again, year after year. I see it run through a stream’s movements as shape-shifting eddies swirl into a seasonal dance.
While walking, I’ve taken the plunge to relinquish my smartphone (at least for a little while) to boost my resilience to nature deficit disorder (NDD). By enlisting all of my senses in spring’s chlorophillic revolution, I stand in solidarity against the synthetic and “deep fake” forgeries. To look up, look around, listen carefully, and breathe deeply, is to be nourished. These are the metrics that I cannot separate from my life. One of nature’s gifts is our capacity to see, feel, and hear the poetry in each and every moment.
Nature is simply a doorknob waiting to be grasped for anyone wishing to enter.
A Maine native, Marc Jalbert is known locally as the former owner/baker of the Gettysburg Baking Co. and Pomona’s Cafe. His short essays have appeared in the Gettysburg Times as “The Baker’s Table.” He now bakes bread weekly for The Natural Food Co., Gettysburg, teaches a one-on-one, Covid compliant bread class, and supplies sourdough bread for The Mansion House (formerly the Fairfield Inn). Marc lives in Upper Adams county with his wife, Juli where he enjoys “building things” and playing his guitar.