“How can we deny to any human consciousness the ultimate capacity to feel as a Bushman feels, to experience the delicate sun-yearning of a flower, and even to summon up that echo of the elemental vibrancy which is existence itself at the beginning of all beginnings?
It may begin with the fragment of a poem, a few notes on a flute, the distant voice of a drum, the silence that follows a koan, the softness of a lover’s mouth, an unforeseen glimpse of fig leaves unfurling from the tip of a wintry twig like a flower from a magician’s wand, the fatal billow of thunderclouds, the smell of summer rain or autumn smoke. These or less than these (a day of joyful indulgence or denial) may trigger vibrations in some lost and forgotten region of our being, vibrations which can expand and set off sympathetic tremors throughout all of what we term body, mind and senses. And for a time we are free of the hypnosis. We are wide-awake and tingling, available to an unfamiliar kind of knowing by direct experience.”
-- George Leonard, The Transformation (Dell Publishing Co., 1972)
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March has arrived, meaning spring officially starts in about 2 1/2 weeks (on 3/19). Can you get used to the idea? Are you going to be ready for spring?
We could still get hit with another winter storm, of course. Last year, in fact, both February and March were cold months with lots of snow on the ground.
But so far this winter bears little resemblance to the previous one. As usual, we did go down into a deep freeze a couple of times, but only stayed there for a short time.
In fact, we’ve had some of the longest winter warm spells ever, often lasting for a week or more, with daytime highs in the 40s (occasionally 50s) for days on end.
Which is why even the massive snow from the 1/23 blizzard didn’t last long. We were able to go snowshoeing on both days the following weekend, but just barely.
Since the snow melted fast, that was (so far) our only weekend of snowshoeing this winter. Otherwise we’ve been hiking, mostly with little or no snow on the ground.
Compare that with last winter, when we had tons of snow and 6 straight weekends of snowshoeing (11 snowshoe hikes), including the first 3 weekends of March.
But it’s quite unusual for snow to last long in March. Often we’re hiking on bare ground, in spring-like temperatures, by the time March has arrived. Like right now!
Another notable weather event was our brief, near-record-breaking descent into sub-zero temps on 2/13-14, leading to two of the coldest hikes ever (we not only survived, but most hikers each day said they had a great time, believe it or not).
No two seasons are alike, of course, as demonstrated by the dramatic differences between this winter and last. And weather surprises always remain a possibility.
In any case, spring is now drawing closer day by day, and soon we’ll be greeted by a cascade of beautiful changes in the natural world. Meaning much ahead to enjoy!