We wore the morning lightly, pearl gray on our shoulders, as we entered the golden wood. Our steps raised small ivory- and lavender-winged moths. Smudge of Bluebird among uplifted branches. (If one should ever alight in my hand and request a portrait, I will gladly oblige.) Song of Red-Winged Blackbird. Chickadee, Titmouse, White-Throated Sparrow. Robin and Nuthatch and Blue Jay.
Gently, the path wandered around roots and over smooth-backed stones. Patches of periwinkle poked through leaf litter, and ferns unfurled green fronds. Trees garbed in tiny floral buds of scarlet, lime-green, pale yellow. Evidence of a reluctant Spring.
Creeks slowly remembering themselves, seeping in trickles to fill their beds and the reedy marsh below. The Spring Peepers’ chorus — mere weeks ago, a throb of voices issuing from any damp pocket — now reduced, here and there, to solo artists.
Shallow tumble of earthen banks studded with skunk cabbage — sweet fragrance laced the air, but the cabbages made no to claim to its creation. Ribboned among their hooded numbers, a garter snake gathered clouded sunlight.
Ancient dryad bid us good morning, arched stiffened limbs in gesture toward a path through the marsh. Though presently dry, it would not remain so with the season’s continued unfolding.
Thus we walked, land dipping slightly. Fringe of greening wood falling back and away, giving way to passable marsh. Skeletal gray trees thrust up through pale interweave. Overhead, clouds gathered, sky brooded. Forest of parchment reeds and grass surrounded, leaning against each other in quickening wind to speak in rasps. We stood amidst that motion, that rustling sigh.
We gathered what we could — in sensation and memory — to store away as need arises. When next we return, our steps will pass over familiar ground, but all will have changed. And as observant as we attempt to be, as present as we will endeavor to be, our limited senses will miss so very much.