Sunday, March 23, 2008


At 1 p.m., Ed and I happen to find ourselves in the Visitor Center of the Arboretum. I notice that a guided walk is about to begin. The theme? “The return of the whooping crane and other signs of spring.”

Sounds good on paper, but with a thick covering of snow, the walk cannot progress as planned. The naturalist suggests that instead, the small group seek out animal prints in the snow.

What a let down to the participants! A spring walk, transformed into a winter stalk. And a glorious Easter to you, too, over there in the sun belt!

We set out on our own. I know the Arboretum well. You could say that it has held hostage the high points and low points in my life. But today, I just want to find my own spring.

Maybe this: melting snow in boggy growth. Good enough?

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No… We trudge further. As boggy growth spreads into crab shrubs and who knows what else, we encounter a symphony, a carnival of birds – cardinals, robins, upside down chickadees – I name only the ones I recognize…


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It is an exhilarating moment.

I wish I could say that the day was made supremely beautiful thereafter, but in fact, by dusk, the chirpiness faded and reality set in.

Besides, soon after, it began to snow.