“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
It seems like we have not had a “normal” spring in southern Maine in years. Perhaps it is time for me to admit that this might be the new normal…or at least the current normal. Wildflowers are blooming late, and migrant birds and dragonflies are arriving late, and our native dragons are emerging later each year. And, the season is compressed. When the wildflowers bloom, they bloom all at once. Take the panel here. These flowers should not be in bloom at the same time…and they certainly should not be having their first blooms at the same time. In the recent past, the Painted Trillium (upper left) and Blue-bead Lilly (upper right) would be showing their last tired blooms before the Lady Slipper (in the center) began to show. And the smaller forest floor flowers like the Starflower and Twin-berry would have be in full boom by the time the Lady Slippers appeared…but this year these are the first blooms I have found. If you are at all aware of the natural world around you…if you observe the rhythm of the seasons through the birds and insects and trees and wildflowers…it is hard to deny that the climate is changing. Spring in Maine is later and later, and more and more compressed. You can debate whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, for us humans, and for the earth…or you can be uncertain of the causes, and doubtful of the solutions, but it is becoming harder and harder to deny it is happening.
The generous eye is an open eye…one that sees what is in front of it. A being full of light has the wisdom to identify causes and the hope to see solutions…or at least to see the things we can each do to help the planet, and our species, children of the living God that we are, to survive this change in climate. And if we each did what we can do, that might be enough. Certainly if we all did what we can do, together, then I have to believe that that would be enough.
A late compressed spring may be the new normal, and it may be just a transition phase toward a more balanced planet. It begins with generous, open, eyes, and moves through beings full of light to a future where what is normal is better, for us, and for the planet.
Yesterday I biked down to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters trail to check on the Pink Lady Slipper orchids, which were just budding out the middle of last week, several weeks late. There is a large patch on the inside (land side) of the trail right behind the buildings, and there is a small patch below one of the overlooks where they maintain an opening onto the marsh view. The ones on the inside were still in bud, but at least two of the flowers on the sunnier marsh side had opened. There are more to come, clearly, in both spots and if we get a few warm days here they will all be open. The first blooms to open this year are pale compared to other years. Only time will tell if that is the trend this year, or just characteristic of the early bloom. The Lady Slippers are wonderful, ornate, delicate blooms…endangered due to habitat loss, and protected. I know of a few other more isolated spots where they bloom in the area, but the ones along the headquarters trail are certainly the most reliable and accessible. Sony RX10iv at 365mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Polarr.