Tuesday, March 23, 2010

“Then God Said, ‘Let there be…and there was…’”

"Every season runs into the last, blotting over the faint shades of its forbear that yet linger in the earth. Yet even in the midst of winter, one can put one’s face close to a patriarchal oak and trace the delicate strokes of fresh living green that last year’s moss painted into the gray bark before frost nipped off the bloom of summer and covered the bareness of autumn with a glittering veil. The flashing, regal splendor of winter, it’s pure lines and austere bearing, dissolve dying into the dead ground, fade into the canvas of latent earth, and thus feed a birth. The infantile mouth of spring opens wide and drinks in the wells preserved so long for its hungry advent. Silent waters break out in a reformation and wash away the frigid barriers in a thrill brimming with promise.

Laud another season if you dare, but in Spring the world is made all over again.

The Six Arrows took our annual adventure to the river again. I was reminded of the quote below for that reason.
“… And in that silence Edmund could at last listen to the other noise properly. A strange, sweet rustling, chattering noise - and yet not so strange, for he’d heard it before - if only he could remember where! Then all at once he did remember. It was the noise of running water. All round them though out of sight, there were streams, chattering, murmuring, bubbling, splashing and even (in the distance) roaring. And his heart gave a great leap (though he hardly new why) when he realized that the frost was over. And much nearer there was a drip-drip-drip from the branches of all the trees. And then, as he looked at one tree he saw a great load of snow slide off it…”
~ C. S. Lewis, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
All winter long, we are not even reminded that we have forgotten the sound of running water. We forget to miss it until it breaks its bonds in the warm hearty breath of Spring. Water chortling is Spring laughing in the face of the frost. If you live near enough to hear it, the sound calls you out to come and exult with it. Perhaps we are all far too old to “play,” but that doesn’t prevent us from exploring every inch of the water-ways within half a mile of our house every snow-melt.

Of course there is little spice to adventures such as ours unless someone “goes in.” This year both Charlie and Yours Truly fell in “the drink.” Since we never get anything worse than a good dipping and a boot full of water, nobody minds more than to have a good laugh. Laughing is about the only thing you can do when you are breathing air that smells and feels electric with life. We found a pair of beautiful little ruddy gray water rats in a temporary brook. The way they caper around and navigate the water with their little paws and tails is comical. They just quiver with excitement to their very whiskers. The birds are ecstatic and warble for the mere delight of singing...the higher, brighter and more trilling, the better.
“He thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before – this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver – glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

~ Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows

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