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Poor Will's Almanack: April 28 – May 4, 2020

Crowcombe Al
Flickr Creative Commons

Some days, I take stock of all the things I find happening in the yard. When I do that, the process seems to stop time, placing it in boxes of measurements and names.

Last week I took that sort of inventory, and this is some of what I found:

In the front yard, our red crab apple was in full bloom and the very first wild geranium. The first lily-of-the-valley was just opening. Jogging through the village, I saw forget-me-nots full, wild cherry trees a birch with dangling catkins, tree-of-heaven with short bristles of leaves, sweet gums just barely leafing, a few sizeable patches of tulips, aging but strong redbuds and snowball viburnums everywhere.

The buds of Rachel’s ginkgo were opening a little, Jeanie’s river birch had pale yellow-green catkins and the box elder tree by my studio has lost its luxurious dangling flowers and was getting its new leaves.

And did time really stop in such an inventory, and were those notes simply swallowed up and trivialized in relentless linear time? Or were they preserved in circular time to be repeated in another year and another?  Or did these notes and their objects themselves collapse into all the other spring-day things and thoughts and words and feelings of all the other creatures, creating and manifesting in their infinity the mind of God?

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Late Spring. In the meantime, take an inventory, slow down your time. The closer you watch it, the slower it gets.

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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.