I watch the dried and bleached foliage of young American beech rattle, shake free, and fly, finally. Leaves like a warbler fallout. The curves of the Sourlands, those that I observe from my porch while hanging laundry - are beginning to grow bristly scales of trout lily leaves. Tulip trees, light lovers they are, have opened their buds. Sedges, woodland and meadow, pierce through last year's duff or thatch.
Spring, yes, spring is here at last. With its odd hot day, rushing the Callery pear's stinky blooms open, and giving me a sunburn, sending ticks racing up the sides of my son's playpen... I'm not ready for these things.
In winter, especially this winter, so snowy and icy, with so many cold nights, me shuffling to the bathroom after a diaper change or nursing, guzzling a glass of water or eating a yogurt at some odd hour, 12:30 AM, 2:30 AM, 4:30 AM, flicking on the porch light each time, still snowing, power is still on, hours are still passing, snowing yet, I so looked forward to spring.
And, now I have a child to show this world to, sharing its secrets. Now, I have to alter my language, find new ways, better ways to talk about plants, the land, people... No more "This g*d* multiflora rose is everywhere." "I hate that Callery pear." I'll have to find new ways to tell the truth, share my thoughts, begin with good thoughts, and allow my son to have his own. It's a good exercise for a naturalist.