Report from Vermont: April Showers

We are well into April, and true to form, it has been a showery month. Between rain and snow melt, the rivers and lake are at low flood stage, and the lawns and fiends are a rich, happy green. We heard this week that even with the winter’s abundant moisture our ground water supplies remain well below normal. With lots of snow left at the higher elevations, that, too, should improve.

Today is cloudy and cool, very much an April day in Vermont. After another ample rain tonight and tomorrow, we may have a few dry days. It would be lovely to see the sun!

The trees are budding and leafing out, and the hillsides are turning bright red, yellow, and green as they do so. It is also woodcock season; perhaps we’ll go down to the marsh soon to try to catch their courting display. It is a marvel, although mostly one hears it rather than sees it, as the birds are small and they display at dawn and twilight.

In spring I am reminded that although most of us prefer not to think about it, we humans are animals and our lives are guided by the logical of the natural world. I awoke this morning with a vivid memory of making love with a once beloved girl, in the late spring, on a hillside, in a drenching rainstorm, in our youth. I found myself laughing at the sheer humanness of that moment. It remains a dear memory, abet one that I now know was driven by biology as much as by affection. Still, there was affection, and that gives the memory its glow.

I’m baffled by our collective insistence that we are other than animal. I guess part of that refusal to belong to Nature arises from a belief that only humans have souls, a concept most Indigenous people find baffling. If we are the only animals with souls, we are alone in the world. We are also given license to treat other animals as lesser, given freedom to do whatever we want to the natural world. That strikes me as both dangerous and painful; I much prefer to live in a world populated by creatures that are aware and soulful, where my actions have impacts across unknowable levels of relationship and complexity.

Speaking of interconnection, the forsythia are in bloom, which means many tree species are in bloom as well and the air is rich with pollen. I have spring allergies and they are in full force as I write. It used to be that I saw allergies purely as inconvenience; now they remind me that the web of life is complex and all-encompassing. Who would have thought I would come to see allergy season as a blessing?



9 thoughts on “Report from Vermont: April Showers

  1. I had a herbalist in Seattle that told me to take freeze-dried nettle capsules – then I was more allergic when I moved out west many years ago. It’s important that its freeze-dried. Why? I have no idea. ❤ this post, you animal.

  2. Interesting that, though we both live in a different part of the world, we are both familiar with the term April showers. Do you have Flaming June?

  3. The arrogance of homo sapiens sapiens is a fascinating thing. Once you start looking into it, you see so many examples. One of the most glaring is it that we think death isn’t good enough for us. We deserve a more special treatment than other biological beings. Why?

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