Two Geese Taking Flight. Photo by Callen Harty.

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.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on Amazon.com (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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1 Response to Spring

  1. marcea0k says:

    I have never seen a green heron. But I did see my first Yellow-Rumped Warbler this weekend as it migrated north.

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