Monday, April 10, 2017

spring erupts!

a season after the Great Fire

the scientist in me is intrigued. . .

wow!, excuse me, a hawk just flew to a high perch above me,
looked around, and flew off. . .

back to musing: I am intrigued by the Great Fire
that roared over this world back in November,

I mourn the blackened hillsides, 
the destroyed homes, the lives lost,
I am saddened by the dead leaves 
on the rhododendron and boxwood near the cabin,

their lifelessness in contrast to the many plants
who find and release the green within
and offer it up to the sun
in homage and partnership,

where young and dying hemlocks dominated the forest,
the ground is still black and sad looking,

for here there were no small plants hiding in the roots,
in the mesic rich world of the nearby cove hardwood forest,
thousands upon thousands of white trillium

erupt back into the burned land and its environs,
the fire here a rendering away of leaf and branch litter,
a scouring of desiccated stump and log,
the contrast of fields of phacelia and nearby devastation, 

I savor the flowers who defy loss to still be themselves:

mayapple, trout lily, miterwort, rue anemone, squirrel corn, 
Dutchman’s breeches, phlox, ginger,
while fire raged above, the ephemerals slept below,
and now they thrive again, maybe better than before,
with more sun and nutrients available to them,

the last days up here have been full of rain and drizzle,
gifts withheld before the Great Fire,
as we wander along the nature trail,
drizzle starts to morph into sleet and a bit of snow,
as if the weather wants to mirror the white of new flowers
with the white of a late season snow,

the living trees seem little bothered by the fire from a season ago,
some black charred upon the lowest of their trunks, 
not even an annoyance,
they are starting to leaf and blossom,
I find it hard to imagine any consciousness within them
that mourns the losses of the lesser below,

I am not ready to mourn 
the rhododendron and the boxwood,
for hope rises in me, 
and I hope it rises from their roots 
into their reaching for the sun again,

the scientist in me is fascinated,
the Buddhist in me feels the losses,
the life in me celebrates every flower that blooms.

by Henry H. Walker
April 6, ’17

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