It’s an excellent day to go for a swim,
to spend with a pal, to paddle down
the stream. It’s an excellent day
for tasting the air, for watching
the shimmering water and listening
to its song. It’s an excellent day
to feel sunshine on your feathers
as it melts the last of the snow.
It’s one of those days when
you’re glad as can be that you’re
here, and awake and alive.
Three days ago, the air was warm.
Yesterday, I woke to snow. This morning
the world was drenched in fog and a rain
gently fell. Suspended from the spruce
were a thousand tiny globes of light,
that made me feel as if I’d awakened
in some mystical world where joy rose
in a whispering mist and birds flew
like secrets, their wings pearled,
their muffled calls signaling a message
that only hearts could know.
Fresh snow fell during the night,
a sweet confirmation that winter
isn’t over yet. I found myself
secretly glad. I’ve grown fond
of certain leafless trees, and,
I confess, the prettiness of snow
is impossible to deny.
Like an island in time, the gentle days
unfold. Snow melts. Waters flow.
Geese swim in the swollen, rushing
creek, honking their joy. In the midst
of harshness, this mildness descends.
And ‘though their stay is brief, it is enough
to remind us of the magic of it all,
and we walk through the comforting air
bare armed and smiling.
Out with the old. Wash it away.
Freshen the bed, sweep the dreams
downstream. It’s time to awaken.
Let new truths roar, let them shout
their great hurrahs. Remove
the debris from the bedrock until
it gleams. Hold onto nothing
that fails to serve the light.
Prepare. Prepare. Let the song
of the Yes be heard.
The melting snow tells the tale,
the yin and yang of winter
is at its balance point. Neither
holds sway. Things can tip
either way. Tomorrow may
bring rain or driving snow.
But today, before the clouds
drift over the scene, the sun,
falling on this mossy log,
melts snow. And I, passing by,
dream of flowers.
There’s my Valentine,
dancing at the lake’s edge,
her joy flags singing in the wind.
What a heart! Brave and true,
beaming her happiness regardless
of weather or season, welcoming
day and night alike, keeping
her flame from autumn ‘til spring,
then beaming green until
the next fall. She sings her song
to fishes and sky, to every critter
who wanders by, to tiny ants
and nesting birds, to neighboring
trees and flowers and grasses.
And now she’s singing just for you:
I love you, I love you, I love you.
It’s the sound of it that calls me,
the singing of water, freed
from winter’s icy grip and dancing
down the rocks. It licks at the snow
and coaxes the ice that leans toward it,
wanting to fall into its merry race.
Still, the melt is slow, taking its time,
lingering while it can. When you’re snow,
it’s good to be snow, when you’re ice,
it’s good to play your part, to hold the hard
purity of winter, to sing it alongside
the waters so joyfully rushing by.
The evening’s light is painting the hills
golden, so I go out to drink in the hues.
To the west, the sky wears pastels.
I acknowledge the aerosol streaks that mar
the blue. I note the soft orchid color
floating above the horizon where the hills
meet the sky. But my eyes are drawn
to something nearer, to the outermost edges
of the trees, suddenly softer now,
with the first, subtle swelling of their buds.
The trees, I suppose, think nothing of it.
No more than we think of the miracle
of breath that goes on even while we sleep.
I smile and whisper to them, “Sweet dreams.”
My heart is singing at their signs.
It always surprises me to see seagulls
here, in farmland, ten miles from the river.
I used to watch them for hours when
I was a child, growing up on the shores
of the Saginaw Bay. They remind me
of home, and when I see them,
I consider it a good omen. Today
they came to show me the way
to deal with a world that holds as much
evil as it does good. Rise above it,
they told me. And stand poised
on the steady and unfailing light.