Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bird's Nest Satori

Every April, I am stunned by Nature's prestidigitation.

What she does with the tiny seed-specks my wife pushes into in the chilly black soil of our garden seems nothing short of a miracle. Just a handful of days and a sprinkling of water later, there is life where there was none. It's surpising how a fragile stem and a couple of pebble-sized leaves can convey so directly the rock-hard durability of Life. It literally never quits.

This is a message I am very attuned to this Spring, after the death of my beloved father last Fall. I still ponder the whereabouts of the Life that was in him.

On the external wall by the window at my office, there is a metal conduit which accepts power and phone lines from the nearby utility pole on the sidewalk. Sticking out of that conduuit are tufts of straw and twig, and from within those tufts emerges the loudest and most constant peeping sound I've ever heard. There are baby sparrows in there, and they are hungry. More than hungry -- they're demanding nourishment to power their new physical presence on this planet. Their parents flit back and forth from the ground to the nest all day, every day, seeds and other tidbits in their beaks, trying to sate the little guys' appetites.

While I talk inside with parents worrying over their own children's more human, but no less urgent, cries of need, trees all around the neighborhood explode in a blur of white and pink petals.

Spring is certainly an easy lesson to take. From hardness, softness. From grey, technicolor.

November is a little harder. The shriveling, the fading, the drying-up. Finally, quiet and cold. I don't like it in the seasons, and I resist it fiercely in myself and my loved ones. I would have a one-way street, all growth and no decay.

And yet, as my body tires and creaks more than ever, my heart and mind expand. I am decaying and blossoming all at once.

Take that, November. And April, too.

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