Spring rituals

Every year, without question, there are little tidings of spring in all the nooks and crannies on the edges of our home where the tamed meets the untamed. I’ve practically danced out of joy from seeing all of the familiar bursts of bulbs and the returning bird song as my bones began to thaw from a difficult winter.

Despite a new furnace in the Airstream, the lack of insulation, an ignorance of knowing how to properly layer up in the winter, and a finicky hot water system let an unshakeable winter cold overtake our Texas bones. While I know newer RVs and trailers have better insulation and creature comforts, we definitely felt the Airstream’s dated design. It was as though we were camping out most nights – the barrier between us and the cold felt like a thin veil – and we waged a constant battle as winter encroached on our warm aluminum den.

And so I never truly understood the beauty – the glory – of spring until I experienced a deep, uninhibited winter.

I’ve never loved spring more than this moment.

The rosemary has come back to life and the sage burst with its red blooms. What I like to call our flower meadow isn’t quite as vibrant as years past, but yellow is the color that brings me most joy in the spring and those are plenty.

The Phoebe’s have begun chirping at us if we linger too long on the porch while hungry, expectant beaks squeak in the nest below the rafters. This morning, I realized I had missed their first flight and the nest is already empty. Yet, I’m excited to see how many new tenants will show up in a few weeks. We’ve spotted two baby armadillos rustling around in the undergrowth by the fence and the pomegranate tree is already heavy with the promise of fruits.

And all these little minute details of the property happen like clockwork each year. In a month, I will convince Mason to get in the canoe with me to go downstream and pick dewberries and see if the poppies have bloomed. I can’t wait to dip my hand in, watching the river glide through my fingers. All these things awaken and revitalize a well within me that I didn’t know I had until we moved out here.

There was a time when my suburban backyard was as far as I explored, and I hadn’t known much more. Living in a more untouched part of the hill country in a home that doesn’t really feel like a house with four walls but more like a brief respite from the outside has made me realize how fuller you can feel if you just step outside and see. See with your eyes, feel with your skin, fingers, toes. If you hold yourself bare to nature, she bares her beauty to you in such unexpected ways.

Like hundreds of fireflies circling you at dusk where you question how such pure beauty can even exist and do you even deserve it? How can people so easily miss it?

Sometimes I feel silly for silently squealing when I see our cottontail friend or catch a cardinal playing in the garden sprinkler. But, it fills up that well within me – and all it takes is to just be here existing.

And so, this Earth Day, I challenge you to explore. Even if it’s just stepping out your door each morning or evening and noticing the little changes of the world. Pick yourself a bouquet of wild flowers, plant seeds or even just tidy to make room for new growth.

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