Spring, Sort Of

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Hampshire County has become one great stretch of liminality of late–everything is hovering between not-quite and just-beyond, immersed in indecisiveness and overlapping. It’s almost (but not entirely) spring, and it’s mostly (but less than lately) winter. Plants are dying and growing, ice is forming and thawing, and nothing’s completely sure about what it should be yet.

Is that a good metaphor for twenty-something-hood or what? 

I’m a photographer in search of magic, not metaphors, though, and this fluid, volatile period between death and renewal is practically brimming with enchantment. Plus, there’s nothing better for beating February blues than a little photo-walk in one’s own backyard!

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My dearest poet-friend Robert Frost spent a great deal of time in my current town, so I’m often reminded of his writings when I’m out in Pioneer Valley nature. Here’s what he has to say on the subject of this tenuous, trembling, time of year:

“Spring Pools” 

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.

The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods—
Let them think twice before they use their powers,
To blot out and drink up and sweep away,
These flowery waters and these watery flowers,
From snow that melted only yesterday.

Frost, Robert. “Spring Pools.” The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged. 245. 

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What poems or quotes or stories or songs do you associate with your local landscapes?

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