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Poor Will's Almanack: April 11 - 17, 2017

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The older I become, the more I am aware of the sources of my moods, the more I see the almost deciduous nature of my emotions, the clear and critical relationship between the outside world, the passage of the seasons, and my mind.

I've found that my self is somehow loose, unanchored, and that it continually needs an abundance of landmarks and time tellers, needs colors, and aromas, and textures over and over in order to find meaning, orientation, and place.

Support from a human society often seems too fragile and sparse, too unpredictable. It has no stable mechanism for reassurance and consolation. It makes a story of resurrection something to be taken on faith. Whereas flowers seem to offer flawless, rigorous and immediate reassurance of rebirth. And they teach a gentle, sustainable path.

For example, the traditional language and symbolism of flowers form a litany of self-sufficiency: periwinkles stand for friendship, sage for domestic virtue, camomile for perseverance, violets for faithfulness, chicory for frugality, snowdrops for hope, bindweed for humility, bluebells for constancy,  clover for providence, columbine for determination, sweetbriar for simplicity, fennel for strength, azaleas for temperance.

If I allow such lessons to create a bouquet of power around me, I embrace a many petalled Easter of good news, a landscape of both outer and inner clarity with which to counter the perilous uncertainties of distant autumn.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of middle spring. In the meantime, watch the flowers, follow the path.

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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.