As we turned into our driveway and caught sight of the magnolia in bloom, I took a deep breath and let out a sigh; another season had arrived. While all of the seasons are breathtaking in the country, spring is by far my favorite.
We had planted the magnolia five springs ago in memory of Irwin's father who had passed away the year before. Magnolias were his favorite and this little fledgling has been a source of inspiration to our entire family. So to see it in bloom with daffodils at its side practically brought tears to our eyes.
Beautiful magnolia blossom
Irwin and I first became acquainted with our country home in the springtime ten years ago. At the time, it was a decaying house and acreage. Looking back, it is hard to believe that we were able to envision any existence in this place, yet ten years later we continue to marvel at how life affirming this plot of land on this mountain can be.
As the house was in the process of a rebirth, so too was the surrounding land, which began to revive itself and offered up new surprises almost daily. There were the apple trees that revealed themselves the first fall, the shock of lilacs the following spring, rosebushes that seemed to appear out of thin air several years later, and the countless other miracles of nature that we have been privileged to witness, including the appearance of our beloved Charlie, who too was a gift of our mountain.
Lilac in bloom
When spring arrives on “our mountain”, as we have come to think of it, the simplicity of rebirth and renewal make almost anything seem possible. As Irwin and I took a walk out into the woods, signs of spring’s resurgence were all around us and the profusion of new growth was awe-inspiring.
A walk in the woods
We were greeted at breakfast Sunday morning by our first guests of the season, who were up bright and early working on their new home right in the elbow of the gutter outside our kitchen window. Seeing those birds made me smile because they were confirmation of spring’s return and with it the proliferation of new life. I was duly impressed by their fortitude; they were not deterred by our removal of all the nests last fall in order to repaint the house. They returned and began to build anew in the very same spot they had built their nest last year.
All of the creatures, both large and small have been busy preparing for springtime on our mountain. There is much activity, some of which is easily observed. Other activity cannot necessarily be seen, but signs are all around.
Paw prints courtesy of our friends down under: raccoons
That is the miracle of another season. No matter how severe the winter, no matter what happens on Wall Street, when spring arrives and the creatures of our mountain that share our house and land return, we know that literally, hope springs eternal.
Even the inanimate objects have embraced the season and have found ways to come to life.
And if the sights and sounds that surrounded us were not affirmation enough, what we stumbled upon on the path leading to the back of the house confirmed what we already knew: We are extremely lucky.
Whether we realize it or not, nature is our greatest collaborator each and everyday. So while we should celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, we must cherish our Earth and it’s miraculous beauty every single day so that generations to come will be able to bask in the sheer joy of… another season.