Last night we held out family Sedar, the Passover meal at which we remember the Jewish people’s Exodus from slavery, and the many people who are oppressed today. As we sit together, we think carefully about the strategies of oppression that abide in our world, and the duty of each generation to confront them. Then we enjoy a splendid meal that Jennie has spent days preparing. Even then we remember those who are hungry, in danger, or without shelter.
Today is Easter, and following a lively and uplifting service at our local Unitarian Universalist church, during which the snow melted away in the bright sunshine, we joined throngs of people who had come downtown. Later in the afternoon Jennie and I went for a walk in the woods and field near our home. As often happens, we met others along the way: friendly dogs and their owner, mating songbirds, and young people on bikes.
The wildflowers in the field are much bent from our long winter. Their brown stalks stand, or more often, bend over, beneath a majestic blue sky. The dominant plants now are grasses and milkweed, the latter being crucial habitat for Monarch butterflies, although in the last few years we have seen few butterflies.
The paths through the woods retain their late autumn color scheme: russets and browns. The snow has melted back, even in the deep woods, leaving only the occasional icy patch to harden the mud. We are indeed in mud season, that time of year when the surface of the Earth thaws, while deeper down, the ground remains frozen. Walking along the trail is a messy business, filled with the promise of spring. Soon we will hear the songs of the peepers and other tree loving frogs.
As I noted in earlier posts, walking the land has taken on a new tone: the specter of development. As we waked we could see nearby buildings through the bare trees. We noticed the trees, mostly ash and maples, seem young on the east side of the tract, suggesting they were cut sometime in the not to distant past. That said, I have walked these woods for over 30 years, and the trees were here when I came, suggesting that rather than young, they are slow to grow.
Now, the early evening light has taken on a soft glow, throwing long shadows across the landscape. The day is winding down, and soon the evening chill will settle in, making solid for a brief time, the forest trails. It has been a good day.