Invincible Summer

Albert Camus wrote:  “In the depth of winter, I finally learned there was in me invincible summer.”  Imminent, almost here, here really–well just as good as here; broaching itself as natural states do, through green buds and spuds poking through the dead-leave-lined ground as if oblivious to the decay around them.  Minuscule crocuses (I may be small, but I am mighty), magnolia buds braving the last bits of ground frost.  Early hyacinth stems (planted late last year) staking their claim to new ground and those of the stalwart alliums, cousins to the common onion yet rich and full and a powerful penitent purple when at their height.  “The Kingdom,” they all seem to say to me, “is at hand.”  As I do my walkabouts (and I’ve begun only lately), I stare and stare at clumps of green ‘midst fuzzy, messy ground and assert my wonder at them in a wordless fixity, my impatience an entity in itself for I am beside myself with an eagerness to see them grow.

The birds are back too:  the robins fight over potential worm wins, and the blackbirds over an old, high-up squirrels’ nest in one of my front yard trees.  Such violence in the face of plenty; so many trees in this region, I mean, why fight?  Why this tree and that nest when so many surround?  I like to think it’s because there is fast and easy access to my backyard birdfeeders, or more likely, Hermes, lord of the birds, ensures I have sufficient birdsong to accommodate my days and nights…Hermes, who alone among the gods, had the right and privilege of crossing from heaven to earth, is also, apart from the Muses, the iconic communicator, the courier of the gods.  Emily Dickinson wrote:  “I hope you love birds, too.  It is economical.  It saves going to heaven.”

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