A Springtime Walk
Today was the first sunny day after many rainy days. We ventured on a neighborhood walk, something we used to do every day but stopped when it became too painful for me. It rained heavily last night, and so the ground, surfaces, and vegetation were all damp and a few pools of water remained in the streets. The sky had many white and grey clouds in the distance, but blue sky was visible and the sun was shining. A slight breeze felt cool on my face and it was cool enough to still wear a sweater, while being bright and warm in the sun. There are many trees and spring plants in bloom right now – crocus, daffodil, daisies, dandelions. The deciduous trees have all sprouted tiny leaves, and the fruit trees have flowers. A cat lounged in the sun of her driveway while her humans played basketball, the tip of her tail twitching happily as she looked on to their game.
While spring has been emerging for some weeks, today was the first day it felt like spring. Perhaps that’s because I’ve not spent much time outside in the past month; my body has been recovering from surgery to birth my baby, and the rain has made it less appealing to get outside even for a short while. The rains have done their job of transforming the landscape; the mosses are happily erect and spreading slow green spongy mats on all available surfaces – trees, rocks, asphalt. From the top of the hill in my neighborhood I can see the slowly moving grey blue of the Columbia, as big barges steer steadily upriver. All of the recently naked trees have edges of green, as the plants awaken and stretch toward what little sun they’ve had thus far. The birds are grateful for the break in the rain. One starling sings with gusto atop a powerline and the crows swoop from one favorite perch to another. The Earth has woken up and all of her children are busily growing at this start to the seasons that feel endless.
The baby is a month old now and I wonder at how time is passing so quickly already. Her hair has grown longer, and she has begun to use her hands, which rest under her chin happily when she’s just had my milk, or ball into tiny quivering fists when she’s angry about yet another diaper change. How will I keep up with all of these changes, which inevitably will continue forever more? How will I teach her to admire the moss and notice the ephemeral wafting of the sweet grass?
Mickki Garrity (Bodewadmi) is an enrolled in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, a Cobell Scholar, a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, and is pursuing a BS in Native environmental science at Northwest Indian College.