• ragandstone

Signs of it.


Delicious spring is here. I salivate at all the green in the dance of our late evening light. I salivate at the chance to dig up some forgotten perennial from the detritus of our backyard forest. There's a trickle of snowmelt still gurgling down the creekbed out back, and the birds lately have been all conversations and dances and hilarious courting sessions. A blast of pheasant taking off from his hiding place in the grass is a common occurrence as of late, and it's never NOT a startling sound. Like a gunshot of feathers and urgency and haste. I feel this urgency pulsing through the woods, and then through me, as I slurp up the evening air. My lungs fill up tight and full like, and I watch my chest rise, struggling to hold all my effort. C'mon girl, MORE! I panic at the tightness of my throat as I attempt to gulp down what seems excessive to my brain and lungs, and I choke on the rest. Lungs blast with an exhale, and I snort at the ridiculousness of trying to ACTUALLY swallow a season. I chuckle a little at myself, as I pick my way around a downed birch tree.

Shadows stretch through the pine and tamarack behind me, warning me of the very last of my evening light outside. I have been spending a particularly dedicated amount of time outside, soaking up every last bit of sunshine. I'm trying a little bit of awareness, both self and surroundings. Plus, As a seasoned veteran of the Pacific North Northwest (aka northwestern montana) I have learned that paying attention is the only way you'll get your dose of seasons. Grab it while you can, or if you blink, it'll flitter into another season. I test my breath in the air, in the darkest parts of the shadows, looking for the condensation of my warm exhale but see nothing. It's finally too warm for that. And I smile at that thought. FINALLY.

I crunch like breakfast cereal as I follow the game trail down the hill behind our house, not nearly as silent as the four-leggeds around here. The detritus of winter lays heavy in the forest, a carpet thick and spongy to walk on. I can barely identify this floor of stuff, but make out parts of leaves and bark and long stringy patches of moss from trees high above. Even the most elusive human in these woods would not keep their cover long. The snapping of twigs and bark leftover from winter rings through these woods, and even the squirrels seem to laugh at the scene I am making underneath their home. I clench my teeth at the thought of everything here hearing me, smelling me, almost pissed at my clumsy human-ness and what must be a stench of my dinner leftovers. Brown rice and chicken. And I am sure everyone already knew that. The uncanny *click* of my shutter goes off as I blunder through the swail, and I realize there are no secrets in the woods. For humans, at least. The only thing here that's sneaky is the season itself.

#spring #walkinthewoods #budding

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© 2020 All images, photography, and text copyrighted under and property of Erin Hawley and Rag and Stone Studio. Do not copy, cite, or reproduce without written permission of artist. Thank you.