Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Signs of spring

Because of the rain, signs of spring are already upon us in Southern California. The acacia on the hillside is beginning to bud in bright green, there are small, resolute catkins on the willow by the swollen creeks, and the pepper trees have a few extra inches of verdant foliage, a completely different color from the rest of the tree. Riding yesterday I pulled at some pepper fronds above my head, squished them in my hand and breathed them in. For the rest of the way, my gloves smelled like fresh pepper, the most pungently delicious scent.  The horses love it too, especially the new growth on the ends of the branches.  On the trails, there is fresh sage, the feathery kind that looks like dill (although not wild anise; it's too early for that). Crushing a leaf or two of fragrant sage in one's palm and inhaling it deeply is another of life's simple pleasures.

The Japanese travelers are home and bring with them the year of the rabbit -- a quiet respite after the ferocity of the year of the tiger, apparently.  I wish you a gentle year and a perfectly green spring, wherever you are in the world.

1 comment:

thelma said...

Well I'm glad its the year of the rabbit, a favourite creature of mine. We shall be going to Kyoto in autumn this year. My partner lived in Kyoto for many years working as a conservator of old Japanese scrolls. He went there in the 1960s as a penniless young man, and became a monk (just for a year mind you). Gary Snyder was also there as well -it was a long time ago );.