Maybe it was due to global warming, or maybe Nature was just feeling antsy. Whatever the reason, spring arrived way earlier than usual this year in my neck of the woods, aka southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. Man, I saw a few trees in flower on the 22nd of March, for crying out loud. That’s at least three weeks sooner than tree-blossoming normally begins. And maples and other big boys of the non-flowering kind unfurled their greenery far ahead of schedule too.
I ain’t complaining, though. A lover of colorful spectacles, I rate the springtime performances of flora quite high on my entertainment list (though not at the lofty level occupied by autumn’s leaves-changing-color extravaganza). Thus, you’ll find me taking a number of walks each spring in which my focus is to admire colors that were unavailable during winter. I spent an hour recently in my suburban neighborhood doing exactly that. My trusty and trusted smart phone was in hand, its camera poised for action. The plan was to use the camera strictly for close-ups. Not of my face, of course, as any images of that rutted, crusty object would have shattered the f*cking camera lens. But of flowering trees and bushes? You bet! Close-ups eliminate surrounding distractions. They get straight to the heart. A close-ups day it would be.
The conditions for the walk were ideal — sunny, cool and breezy. So breezy, in fact, that I had to hold on tightly to my baseball cap a few times, lest it blow off the previously mentioned rutted, crusty object. I strolled from block to block to block, getting up close and personal with cherry trees, azalea and lilac bushes, and other examples of Nature’s wonders. That didn’t happen as often as I’d have liked, however, since many lovely creations were in the middle or rears of people’s lawns. You better believe I wasn’t about to step onto those lawns, not being in the mood to have homeowners yell at me from their front doors or, worse, come dashing out of their homes to confront me. Sadly but truly, you never know what might happen these days. We sure as shit live in uncertain times.
Nonetheless, the walk was a damn fine one. I felt relaxed and at peace, my head pretty much devoid of thoughts. All of which took me by surprise, as I am, for the most part, a natural-born worrier and overthinker, and good and tight in the shoulders too. Calmly on the lookout for pretty colors, I somehow had entered a near-zen state. That’s part of the magic that a Nature walk sometimes imparts to me. I could go for that degree of mental and emotional clarity and ease all the time. It’s the way to be, of that there is no doubt.
I haven’t inhaled spring’s charms and soothing hues all that much since the walk I describe took place. I plan to pick up the pace soon, though, because before you know it all of the flowering trees and shrubs in my area will have dropped their blossoms. I find it a shame that spring’s delicacy and soothingness don’t last for at least several weeks more than they do. If I were in charge of Nature, they would. Hell, let’s take this a few steps further: If I were in charge of Nature, violence and disease would not exist. Living things would not feed upon other living things. The world, in other words, would be a gentle and wonderful place, one in which all organisms, including humans, of course, would spend their days in fulfilling and pain-free manners.
A boy can dream, right?