Spring Tickles

click to view larger versionThe sun-warmed branches of the tree outside my window are festooned with pink buds. I’ve watched them day by day, swelling from tiny bumps on the bare gray branches to adolescent pods bursting with pink petals. The dominant local hummingbird has a favorite branch where he stands guard over the nearby feeder, swaying his head rhythmically in complete absorption with his riotous songs. He’s a thumb-sized tough guy unconcerned with the frilliness of his chosen perch or the over-the-top gaudiness of his iridescent feathers—the Eddie Izzard of hummingbirds.

click to view larger versionSpring’s exuberant pull seems to tug at me too, with a vague, tickly restlessness for I don’t know what. The steep meadows above the house are thickly coated with orange California poppies, lightly peppered with other wildflowers in blue and white. Furry little bees are bumbling gently about in the sky-colored rosemary blossoms, and white lilac thickens the air with a sweet, heady perfume. Life, life, life, expressing jubilantly and calling my name!

click to view larger versionThe intense warmth of the sun, the soft scented breezes, the swiftly lengthening days, the bright blossoms nosing up through tender green grass, it’s all such a shock to the senses coming on so swiftly after the long, scorched fall and the cold dampness of winter. Perhaps I’m hardened to the teasing springtime habits of the Northwest weather gods, where heady warm days in March inspire unwary humans to don lightweight clothing and plan outdoor activities, only to be doused with freezing rain or coated with heavy frosts. Or even sprinkled with snow.

Is there someplace I’m supposed to go? Some appointment I’m late for? Or am I simply a mammal among hordes of other mammals and assorted critters nudged by Nature into doing their spring cleaning, traveling, and flirting like clockwork each year? After our hibernation through the dark of winter, spring trails its glorious, petaled raiment across our senses and tickles us to life and love and new beginnings. Who am I to resist?

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