"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Refuge


The forecast was for rain, as it is most days this time of year. We drove north anyway, willing to get a little wet to  experience a new-to-us wildlife refuge, to have a late winter adventure in celebration of Walt's birthday, to get out and move.

We weren't long into the trip when sun patches began to dot the woolen sky like golden clouds. Soon we were driving into more blue than gray, and the farther north we went, the more glorious the day became. By the time we arrived at Nisqually NWR, the clouds were doing their best to hide the sun again, but the air was dry and at moments held the blessing of true warmth.

As we meandered along the boardwalk, enjoying the paired off honkers (and our own partnership), stopping to watch herons pull wriggling things from the fertile muck, and scanning the sky for eagles, I was aware of feeling simply happy. While Walt shot pictures, I searched the tangerine branches of willows for songbirds. We walked directly into the wind coming from the Puget Sound and were both chilled by it and energized. The primal scent of ocean and exposed tidal mud warmed just enough to release a deep salty tang broadcast the coming of new life as clearly as the birds clamoring in courtship all around us.

The longer we walked, the more alive I felt. More than I've felt in months. A true March day, the weather shifted wildly and without warning: sun extinguished by black clouds that spit rain which gave way to a downy gray sky that cleared into forever blue, all within a matter of minutes. Often the sky would hold so many different weathers, rain fell magically from a cloudless cathedral ceiling.

It was in the shifting I recognized what I love about this month. It's not only the promise of new life that has grown from whisper to shout; it's also the constant surprise.  After a winter in which I worried nothing would ever change, the adolescent mood swings of March are exciting and full of unknowns that promise at least new perspective and perhaps even the next great insight. Everything is possible all at once.

When we drove home later in the afternoon, the weather continued to offer opposites side by side: apocalyptic black clouds trying to devour Easter blue skies. For miles we were surrounded by rainbows: a brilliant double that followed us for a time; a half arc flashing neon from behind; pastel chalk smudges of pillars nestled in hillsides.

March is the time when darkness and light exist side by side in a way that doesn't happen at any other time of year so vividly. Color, breath, and hope are all sharpened by the unique and particular configuration of life and death sharing equal space. Because this month's gifts are offered full blast, feral, and raw they have the power to change a heart with all the impact of falling in love.

Photo by Walt

31 comments:

DJan said...

This is just beautiful, Deb. I love it, and the description of the PNW spring time. Beautifully written, amazing word picture of our home... thank you!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

You had me with the first few words of your posting, but "the adolescent mood swings of March" made me chuckle out loud.

Thank you for this I so enjoyed it. I love that area and once had a tiny cottage on magical Orcas Island. Now I'm on another island a continent away, but still much like Orcas.

I found you via Aisling's new blog site. So happy to know about you.

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island (I'm your newest follower so I don't lose your writings)

Stacy Crawford said...

I would love to live just a few hours from an ocean. I was intrigued by the salty muck...we just have muck.

She Writes said...

The last line... sigh :). Nice. I need to view March like this. I am so rained out!

Retired English Teacher said...

Beautiful. I love the background for you blog. It made reading your beautiful words even more enjoyable.

I'm glad you are feeling lively and hopeful.

Donna said...

You have a way of viewing the weather/life in a metaphorically wonderful way! I love the way you write and it challenges me to think...about a lot of things. I know this winter has been a long one for you. It has been for me too, there are just things I cannot share on a blog. I admire your frankness so that we can gain strength from you in watching this lifes journey of yours. Hopefully this winter will be over soon and we can all go forward with a happier future. Hugs....Donna

yaya said...

I really don't want to wish my life away and complain about the seasons, hoping that this will soon be over and on to the next. I find that for some reason this year, this winter, is pushing me into doing just that. It's like gossiping about a friend then feeling like a jerk! I need to view this time of year with gratitude for the beauty and grateful that someone with writing talent can show it to me like you have..Thanks!

Barb said...

Hi Deb, Fickle March! I love this sentence: "Everything is possible all at once." Just like Life. PS Walt's photo of the bird in flight is wonderful.

Wanda said...

Sounds lovely.

Desiree said...

Your words carry temendous power, every image you paint reaches out and grabs my attention! What I would give to be able to write as you do, Deb. Thank you so much for sharing this great gift and talent of yours with us :)

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

You have painted a beautifully refreshing picture of the start of spring. Yes, it's the season that enlivens the hearts of the weary ones. They come out suddenly alive, like you.

Lilith said...

Lovely.

We are still locked in the grips of winter, snow, snow and more snow. Did I mention the cold? The days are longer now which helps but I want to be able to wander outside, not rush because of the cold, by meander. Soon. I hope.

Carrie Link said...

Happy birthday, Walt! GREAT photograph!

LauraX said...

"It was in the shifting I recognized what I love about this month. It's not only the promise of new life that has grown from whisper to shout; it's also the constant surprise." Hmmm...you've given me some things to ponder.

JenniferL said...

Always love your writing, but have to give a shout out to Walt for the amazing photo! Go Walt!

Katie Gates said...

"was aware of feeling simply happy" I think as we get older, that is one of those gifts -- we appreciate happiness and also know that, like everything, it's impermanent.

Mark Lyons said...

Such beautiful writing! I was struck by your closing paragraph...because it such a definition of life. Darkness and light existing side by side. I'm so glad you and Walt had a great day together.

Love you
Mark

deb colarossi said...

Magnificent.
It is a privilege to read your words.
See life through your soul.

Linda Hoye said...

Simply beautiful, Deb. I love the "adolescent mood swings of March". It describes the month perfectly!

Sandi said...

Just a brief note, Deb, to say . . . you inspired me! Glad to catch up on your posts this morning, and glad to read your lovely thoughts on March.
Hope we can catch up again soon. Love you!

Kathryn Grace said...

Hope springs eternal, as my mama always says, and this definitely has that spring. Beautiful poesy. I like your new background too. Seems particularly appropriate.

Terri Tiffany said...

I know that feeling of all of a sudden feeling that moment of happiness when previously I had been feeling so hopeless. It's a moment to capture and a moment that offers hope when the future ushers in more dark days. I'm glad you enjoyed your day:)

K to the H said...

So true about March. Kory and I got married this month, and your post made me remember how that day the rain came and went, mixed with this beautiful sky... When the sun came out, so did the rainbows.

love you.

:)

Amber said...

That was me (amber) logged in Kory's account. Whoops1 My laptop is down.

ox :)

the wanderer said...

oh my! that was gorgeous. "light and dark at the same time"--just loved the imagery. this writing has given me a whole new perspective/ has interpreted what i was thinking about this season.
"everything is possible all at once". divine.
thanks.
thewanderer

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I agree. Simply beautiful. I can see you love words. My husband of 43 years wrote and his love of words shone through also! Again..simply beautiful!
Love,
mona

Kathryn Magendie said...

*smiling* mood swings of march - yes and yes!

lovely . . . as you are Deb

Kathryn Magendie said...

PS - your blog background is lovely! How did I not notice before how spring-like and pretty it is!

Facing50Blog.com said...

I am never disappointed with my trips here. Always eloquent, always appropriate and always beautiful. Your photograph is absolutely stunning too. It is with reluctance that I leave your blog...but not after yet another read of this post.

Out of My Mind said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I usually return the favor, drop by, leave a comment, and then move on. However, i enjoyed this so much that I just punched your follow button.

I love New York and have been there several times because my daughter lives close to there in CT. Unfortunately when I visited the grand old lady the crown was closed for repairs....bummer! kt

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm so jealous that you and Walt share this joy of birdwatching. Okay, not jealous. Hopeful that my husband and I will discover a shared activity such as yours.