Little Signs Everywhere

Spring is here! Well, at least officially on the calendar and definitely here in the South. Lilies and daffodils are stretching their arms, breaking free of their cool earthy beds and peeking up at the Sun. Swollen rivers are heartily flowing as snows melt and the brown ground begins to green. Tree leaves are budding and even the oceans begin to bloom, as waters are being warmed by Spring’s sunny serving of hopeful rays. Legions of Monarch Butterflies are leaving Mexico to begin their transcontinental journey to Canada, stopping to mate and delight us all along the way. Songbirds announce their return to warmer climes as a certain fever sets in and we open our windows to the sweet smells of Spring carrying the wastes of Winter away.

Emily Dickinson was an avid gardener from a young age and according to her letters and poems, an appreciative observer of nature all of her life. Her Herbarium, a collection, of 424 plants and flowers from the Amherst region, which she catalogued, classified and pressed into a leather-bound album, is certainly evidence of that. Dickinson celebrated them in a letter to her friend Abiah Root in 1848 referring to flowers as “beautiful children of spring,” She is said to have viewed nature as her muse, and I imagine that Spring was her favorite season.

“Some keep the Sabbath going to church; I keep it staying at home, With a bobolink for a chorister, and an orchard for a dome.” — Emily Dickinson

Poem #236

Like Emily, I get much of my inspiration from nature. I’m lucky to live on the coast and find much of it on the beach, which I like to say is my church, gym, and community service outlet, where I meditate, read, write, exercise and pick up litter.

Todays Carol and Emily poem celebrates one of the signs of Spring, the Robin.


*View Dickinson’s Herbarium at Harvard Mirador Viewer

The Emily Dickinson Museum

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