Hope, spring is late in coming

March 15, 2014: It feels like waking up from a long sleep, a sort of hibernation that one does not remember except that now suddenly to be awake.

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I went for a walk today, the first real walk in many months. Feeling my legs, I moved slowly and was overcome by exactly how gray it still is. It seems as though winter may never leave, color may never return and it may always be dark. The air was damp and it had been raining with the temperature was just over freezing. Inside of my jacket I felt protected and ready, the fleece soft and warm and full of color.

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I walked and side stepped puddles. The ground gave way to squishy footholds. It is no longer frozen and for this I am happy. I rounded the corner and put distance between me and the road. I could hear the birds. I saw familiar silhouettes and calls, but none whose name I can remember, it has been so long. It is good to see them return, even if they must bare out such conditions in hopes of spring.

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I rounded the path again, finding the bike trail in good repair. I crossed a foot bridge and watched the water for a moment. The ice was mostly gone. The stream appeared full of life in the flowing current. I thought on the question I was asked earlier today about what it may be like ten years from now. What is the future, if not a projection of the past? Which in this river filled with rain water from the whole of winter, I think on ten years ago. Using that as one point and the present as another, I draw a line and try to see into the future. I try to imagine it, but it is like looking thru a thick fog. Everything is there, but hidden from view.

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I walked up the trail and on my right were a small group of birds around a puddle. Two robins were hopping in parallel. To the casual observer they may look together, traveling the ground searching for food. But in truth they are sizing each other up. One will finally end the charade and move toward the other. They will bristle and one will leave. Spring has begun even if it is a cold one and the competition for life has begun. I look up into the tree and see two silhouetted birds mating. I can see their future so clearly. And I realize the question I had been asked was what I *hoped* it would be like. Going back to my two points, I changed my line to a long curve. Not linear, not here to there. Hope, bending the line with my will.

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I remember traveling on a seasonal road in the U.P. of Michigan. The road went up a great curved mountain, with a drop off on our left. My daughter was asleep in the back and we traveled up the road in our old blue truck. I remember our view in front of us was all sky and behind us nothing was hidden from view. I remember saying it is like we are driving into the sky. As I walked, I thought that is what I hope for, the sky and all the stars and maybe just a little warmer weather, and some sun and the cheep of those little birds that will be here in a month. I hope for them, I hope for me.

Observations at the Feeder

Today was one of those rare days. The house was quiet and everyone was gone. My husband had gone to work this morning and when he returned at lunch, had agreed to take my daughter to school and went and worked on his projects elsewhere. He asked me if I wanted to go. I did not, but instead seized the opportunity to have some quiet time. After they had left, I was sitting in the kitchen where we have placed a small round table beside the kitchen window and on the other side of that window there is a bird feeder that my daughter and husband had made earlier this spring. Beside the feeder and on the corner of the house is the sort of tree that flowers in the early spring. With each passing breeze, it is losing its small delicate pedals in a sort of flowery rain in whites and pinks. Watching the pedals fall away was like marking time. The tree will soon be bare of flowers and full of leaves. Perhaps there will be a bird nest? The birds were coming in to feed on the sunflower seeds in the feeder. I poured myself out a second espresso and sat with the window open. It felt like bliss!

“Observations at the Feeder”
By: Mary Champagne
Flutter
   Flutter
   Flutter
   Peck
Flutter
   Sit
   Eat
   Spit

Spring with Royalty!

April 27, 2013: Today was a spring day. There is a sweet smell outside making a grand entrance for spring after its late arrival this year. My Mom  recently purchased and moved into a home. She and her husband are wrapping up the care on the inside of the house and with the promise of warmer weather, have turned their attention outdoors. As we walked the yard, it had begun to rain. It was the most pleasant kind of slow, warm rain that seems to gently awaken the plants and trees from winter. We tried to look past problem areas and squinted just a bit, in effort to imagine how best to work with the backyard, what features to keep and which ones to dispose of. We talked over the best course of action and made some plans. My mom had recently discovered and shared with me that there were other inhabitants that have been calling this place home too. Under a bedroom window, in a tidy little nest, a robin had laid three eggs, blue and perfect. Just the sort of thing that is welcome, but can never be ordered. As we rounded to the backyard a pileated woodpecker  appeared, like royalty complete with a bright red crown, taking roost in a large dead tree right on the property line, that abutted to the woods. It was a grand and wonderful sight to see. In honor of that woodpecker I present, Spring with Royalty!

Spring with Royalty, One Chickadee, Mary Champagne

Spring with Royalty, watercolor, One Chickadee, Mary Champagne