“Sudden swarm of snail clouds, brings back the evening’s symmetry.” –Mykola Vorobyov
Sunday marked the end of astronomical winter, as the vernal equinox signaled the transition to spring. The earth spins on its axis, balancing day and night. For a few months ahead, the hours of light will outnumber the hours of darkness.
Temperatures soar into the 70s. Spring bulbs, planted as solace during that first pandemic autumn, wake up and unfurl their colors: purple, lemon, cream. I think of Mary Oliver’s poem “Peonies“ in which she asked, “Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden“? Yes! As I start the coffee, I glimpse a new crocus or jonquil from the kitchen window and rush outside to see it. Welcome back! The return of these flowers reminds me it’s the two-year anniversary of the lock down in Illinois.
Two years! So much has happened.
We’ve come a long way. Uncertainty still shadows our days.
We dig deep. Find resilience. When it isn’t enough, we dig deeper and scrape up more.
But we’re tired.
We hang on. What else can we do?
As I read the newspaper each morning, my thoughts drift to halfway across the globe.
How do we make sense of the senseless? The world seems ripped apart.
Global pandemics. War. Uncertainty. They remind me to cherish each moment.
In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman writes: “So much of our life passes in a comfortable blur. Living on the senses requires an easily triggered sense of marvel, a little extra energy, and most people are lazy about life. Life is something that happens to them while they wait for death.”
It takes so little to wake up to wonder. But that “little extra energy” feels drained by the past two years. And yet. I don’t want to squander this time I’ve been given.
What a joy it is to have the freedom to rise in the morning and go for a walk, just to admire the world! To look at the sky. To appreciate the clouds, or hunt for the first shoots of new plants. This week, I’ve been reminded of what a privilege it is.
There is so much I can’t do. But no matter what is happening in the world, I can pay attention to the beauty around me, no matter how small.
I’m looking for signs of change. Memos of hope.
The days pass so quickly. But I can make these moments count.
Cultivating hope this week means digging deep for that “extra energy” to pay attention, even if it’s only a moment in the garden, time at the kitchen window watching the birds, or taking five minutes to admire the sunset. I don’t know any other way to make sense of the senseless.
I only know I need to stay present to these moments of wonder.
Keep walking. Keep looking. Stay awake.
The opening quote is a line from Ukrainian poet Mykola Vorobyov (1941-) from the poem Muddy Shore in his collection, “Wild Dog Rose Moon” (translated by Myrosia Stefaniuk). Vorobyyov studied philosophy at the University of Kiev in the 1960s, but was expelled and then monitored by the KGB, who refused to let him publish his work. Today, he is the author of four poetry collections and two children’s books.
Join Cindy for a class or program (see http://www.cindycrosby.com for more)
March 26, 10-11:30 am — Illinois’ Wild and Wonderful Early Bloomers at Brookfield Garden Club, Brookfield, IL. (Closed event for members only, to inquire about joining the club, click here.)
March 28, 7-8:30pm—Add a Little Prairie to Your Garden at Grayslake Greenery Garden Club, Grayslake, IL. Contact the club here for details.