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Poor Will's Almanack: May 10-16, 2011

Flickr Creative Commons user From_Val
Spring Buds

Poor Will’s Almanack for the third week of Late Spring.Everything happens so quickly between the end of March and the middle of May. Bare trees fill out, and the brown, silent earth comes completely alive. The feelings that move over me in the wake of all those changes range from joy to disappointment to a sense of being overwhelmed.

Often I wonder if what I was really waiting for was spring or if I was caught up in a different kind of longing, thinking that spring was a promise not only of an easing of the weather but a promise of some greater fulfillment.

Winter created a need for warmth that went far beyond the simple need of rising temperatures; it embraced an entire complex of needs for warmth. But to find that spring does indeed bring warmth can be disappointing because it was not really a change in the weather that I was waiting for but something altogether different, something that I had, in self-deception, transformed into spring, making the tilt of the earth into a potent but unfocused metaphysical longing.

In the middle of May, I watch the quantity of trees, the quantity of new sprouts, of new flowers. And at the same time, I see how quickly it is all passing, and I become greedy and want more and more and, of course, I can only have so much, and the greed and its incompletion creates frustration, and then finally confusion.

In some ways, that confusion is welcome, like the confusion and the greed and the frustration of love. And sometimes it creates islands of peace, and sometimes it leaves me ruminating and ruminating.

Next week on Poor Will's Almanack: notes for the fourth week of late spring. In the meantime, stay focused on the new leaves and flowers. Don't be ruminating.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.