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March 26, 2003

A Red Spring

Spring is truly here at last.
It even feels like it, which is not always the case in March. A week of warming weather has soothed the departing ache of Winter. The ice is gone; the ground is soft and damp, forgetting last year's drought. Soon the public fountains will flow once more. Last year they were restricted: the sort of deprivation one might expect in wartime, but there was no correlation. Then or now. War cannot stop the Spring, nor does it touch us much here, but it taints the heart that seeks to open toward the season. The constant flow of news from abroad is like psychic rennet, curdling a consciousness that should be sweetened by the lyricism of the Land.

Even so, I follow the old pattern, walking to the Meadow slope where the old Red Maple still stands. The species is not particularly long-lived, but this tree has survived many an Oak, or Beech, or Ash that might have thought to outlast it. We lost a lot of fine trees, young and old, this past Winter, the Christmas ice storm being particularly destructive. Plying the dialectic of the forest and the tree, one sees them both diminished, and the sprouts are at best the hope of some future generation.
But the Maple still stands.

Its flowers initiate the Springtide.
I've seen it bloom before the end of February in some of the mild Winters we've had of late, but this year things are on a slower schedule, and the staminate puffs of red and yellow were only full blown upon the Equinox itself. I've tried not to endlessly repeat myself on this page, (though repetition is a major theme here,) but these blossoms are the one thing I've shown each year: an orientation point for the rising life force; impervious to our worries, but reflective nonetheless.
Red in the season of Green.
I show them once again.

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