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Poor Will's Almanack: March 31 – April 6, 2015

Trina Alexander
Flickr Creative Commons

Throughout the eastern half of the United States, middle spring often arrives with storms, and I remember a cruel evening of hard wind and snow on the raw border between March and April.

Just before sunset, the sky turned black and the storm hummed in the bamboo outside my window. I had brought in enough logs for the wood stove that afternoon, and the fire was hearty and radiant. I hunkered down.

It occurred to me that I was behind three days in my daily rosary, and the prospect of an hour of short, repetitive invocations appealed to my sense of suspension from ordinary reality. And I thought that I might mix myself an extra-large rum and Coke to further cut my connection from days gone and days to come.

I turned out all the lights. The attacks of the gale grew more insistent, some of them making the tin roof thump and rumble. Back and forth, the swaying bamboo sang.

I slid into the metronome of Hail Marys, my body given up to the rhythm of the prophetic wild north wind and to the loosening of the rum, my fantasy wandering from petition, to wonder, to peace, to a slow excitement of communion, to anticipation for April. Little by little I became more separate from winter concerns and anxieties. My breaths became deeper and more complete. I sat in a perfect, unassailable space for just a little while, until both my trance and the passage of the violent barometric high weakened and left me only aware of the dark and stillness,

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back next week with notes for the second week of middle spring, the fourth week of the Cabbage White Butterfly Moon and the third week of the sun in Aries. In the meantime, when the great storm comes, hunker down.

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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.