Lessons from the Birthing Season

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken

Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing,
Praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing

Fresh from the Word.         Eleanor Farjeon, 1931

When the earth thawed our first spring in the country, a new world awoke before me. Nature seized my senses, began my education of her birthing season.
An outstanding memory is the sound of lowing cattle wafting from our neighbor’s farm across the road to our backyard. Twilight sparkled like Mom’s eyes when she spoke of her family’s milk-cow.
Later, as I strolled past our neighbor’s pastures, a curious fulfillment and yearning rose up within me when I spied a calf nursing from its mother. The scent of cool earth mingled with manure and comforted me.
During those young springs, I explored our roads and wilderness surrounding our land. It felt like hiking my Appalachian mountains. As they sprouted in birth order, I learned to name skunk cabbage, swamp marigold, trout lily, white and red trillium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, columbine, and wild geranium. The forager in my genes transplanted roots from forest to around our house, a new build void of one leaf, blade, or bloom. Oh, I had so much to learn.
One April, I spied white buds on a hillside of Edison’s easement beside our Natural Beauty Road, a former cow path. Two men lounged in the shade nearby the wildflowers, bulldozers ready to remove more virgin vegetation and trees.
“I’d like to rescue some of those white flowers, if you don’t mind,” I said.
The men looked to where I pointed as if they hadn’t noticed. “Take all you want.”
That bag of bloodroot returns every year with offspring breaking soil from the mother plant’s seedpods. If you blink, you might miss bloodroot’s brief flourish. I’ve since borrowed roots from my flowerbeds for a sprinkle of unfurling petals under my redbud and Bradford pear.
This parade of beauty follows what I anticipate most come mid-March: the love song of the Spring Peepers, those camouflaged, amorous male amphibians who wait all winter, just like robins do, to belt out whistles to their mate.
Their chorus rises from marshes where tadpoles swim throughout our countryside. Although we know winter is probably poised for at least one final swagger, the Peepers say her time is at end. Glory Hallelujah!
Praise those frogs for singing! Just think, Dear Reader, the Peepers’ song announces the spring hatching, calving, and lambing season. On this gusty morning, farmers watch their herds and shepherds their flocks for the newborn’s first cry. The poet’s words resound, true and faithful.

Sweet the rain’s new fall,
Sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass;
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning,
Born of the one light

Eden saw play.
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
God’s re-creation

Of the new day.