It's the season of the quickening. We let our coats turn white for the winter, we've been hidden in the snows of the mountains. We've tracked rabbits by their foot prints. But now the snows are beginning to melt and the rivers are running high.
We hear word of steelhead running the rivers, smell the damp earth warming. We walk on forest paths strewn with winter blow down. We clear the way, knowing there are still storms to come, that we'll clear those same paths again, and again this spring.
We'll retreat to the high mountains for spring snow. But we'll be here in the river valleys more and more, the sun setting later and later in the day, the nights retreating.
We'll dig in compost, the leaves that have rotted over winter, into our gardens. We'll feel the soil, test it for warmth and dryness. Green shoots emerge, slowly. Every year we ask, "isn't it too early?" Is it, really?