From the Innkeepers
We are well into the month of April, and spring is still only within the realm of hope here in our part of Michigan. In spite of what the calendar might say, and even though it's been 3 weeks since the start of spring, the season so far feels more like a series of broken promises than the onset of blue skies and warmth. On April 1st when we woke to snow covering the ground, I chalked it up to nature's April Fool's joke on us, but when that was followed by a dusting of snow again several days later, I was muttering "enough already...". And now here we are on April 12th in the midst of an ice storm. As TS Elliot once said April is indeed the cruelest month.
But on the brighter side of things, the red winged blackbirds, robins, Canadian geese, and sand hill cranes are back and making a convincing case that in the hopefully not too distant future the season will be here in more than in name only. And to our excitement we spotted a new type of duck on our small pond that we had never seen here before. It was a buffalo head duck, and if you've ever seen them you know that they have this beautiful black and white, yin and yang pattern to their bodies. And the torrential rains of the last several days have washed away the majority of snow piles that have been tenaciously lingering on for far too long. Also there are the slightest little spears of iris and spring bulbs starting to emerge from still semi-frozen soil. Hopefully this layer of ice will not be too damaging to their tender shoots.
My brooding over the season's apparent unfolding in it's own time reminds me of segments of a poem by Jeanne Lohmann entitled "What the Day Gives".
"...In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring,
but stories of great birds in migration
carrying small ones on their backs,
predators flying next to warblers they would in a different season, eat.
Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
That plunges in a single day from despair to hope, and back again,
I commend my life to Ruskin’s difficult duty of delight,
And to that most beautiful form of courage,
To be happy."
It is indeed a beautiful form of courage to be happy, so on that note, I will quit my mutterings about our painfully slow and circuitous road to spring this April, and practice the art of courage.
May it be so for you as well.