Seasonal Musings on the Shore of the Salish Sea

Ah, the freshness of this season! I marvel at late spring’s luscious green growth. The humid hands of the rainforest trail against my legs as I meander the Chinook lands on Whidbey Island. The moisture held by the forest relaxes and nourishes the tender tissue of my lungs and I’m grateful to the genius of the forest ecosystem to parent water in the way it does. During these dry days, which feel more like hot mid-summer than late spring in the Pacific Northwest, there is a poignancy and worry. The loss of forest ecosystems around the world is a frightening reality in the face of the scorching effects of climate change. Oh for the paradox of gratitude and grief.

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The fir trees reveal bright-light green growth and I take some of this new growth, soft branch needle tips, for my tea. I gather a handful of the ripest salmonberries I can find, pardoning myself to the many birds who vie for these same morsels. A persistent cheeping is heard coming from an alder snag, and a naturalist friend points out a nest of baby woodpeckers – hairy woodpeckers, we think. Along the path ahead, a female robin lingers, enticing us to follow her and move away, undoubtedly, from her nest of vulnerable chicks.

Everything is growing and fresh and the light stays with us so long these days. We’ve passed Beltane now, the Celtic fire festival, and we’re moving toward the Summer Solstice. Where are you in this grand cycle, are you noticing, are you warming up and stretching out? Beginning to sport the flowers that will bear the fruit, and the seed, for another time, while relishing this one, living this season fully?

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