This afternoon I spent time revelling in our early spring. Granted, the unusual warmth this March, with our earliest ever 70 and 80 degrees days and several record-breaking high temperatures, is a little bit unnerving. We had five days over 80 degrees in March when there had been only five in all of recorded history prior to this year. And this was after a mild winter. Still, whether it comes early as this year or whether there is still snowfall in April and May, it is my favorite season.
What faith I have and may have lost in the darkness of winter is always restored in the light of spring, when I see buds on trees and flowers, hear sandhill cranes croaking in the distance, watch fish and painted turtles at the edges of ponds, hear spring peepers like fingers across dozens of combs, and see birds that I have not seen in months. The cycles of life on this earth are reassuring and fill my spirit.
Today I saw or heard American robins, blue jays, cardinals, house sparrows, mallards, Canada geese, buffleheads, sandhill cranes, a downy (or possibly hairy) woodpecker, green heron, white-breasted nuthatch, kingbird, house finch, and some kind of wren. Rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels are all active. The snow has already all melted and brought streams back to life. Everything dead, lost, or gone, has returned anew. Spring is reincarnation in its elemental form, an eternal life in heaven reflected in the infinite cycles of earth.
Spring is a prayer answered and a prayer offered. The woods, ponds, and prairies of my state are my church. This season I am full of faith.