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Poor Will's Almanack: May 7 - 13, 2013

Flickr Creative Commons user outdoorPDK

Like love, spring can depend on the slightest movement, the faintest scent, a glimpse of what might happen, an oblique suggestion of fulfillment. And so the sight of one tulip or the first robin fledgling can create sudden spring, spring-at-first-sight. It can also grow and accumulate year after year like long, true love until each corner of its nature and each crevice of its devices are part of us.

Without each piece of spring, without each a particle of each day, there would be no visible year at all. But together the pieces demonstrate that the year truly is the sum of its parts. And the more parts one can find, and the more years one can add to the mix, the more the whole becomes.

Now I used to think of spring as a private revelation, and I delighted in seeing it accumulate year after year in repetition and variation in my personal notebook. Then a community voice came to what I saw, extending my reach and also teaching me. So now I am learning that not only is spring the sum of its parts, but it is the sum of its observers, too.

When people tell me what they see and how they feel about the season, then I am made more by their sharing. And spring, the cumulative result of many eyes and ears and noses and voices, becomes a new metaphysical, spiritual space, more and more than it could have been had I stayed alone.

So I am thinking that the litany of observations about any particular day or time by a number of witnesses, bearing witness, literally creates a different landscape that it changes, alters and augments the world.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of late spring. In the meantime, gather the pieces of spring. Share them.

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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.