Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday Evening Falls, Gently

by Zinta Aistars

Good Friday evening falls, gently, softly. I watch the sun slip down toward the horizon behind the far treeline and wonder, amazed, at the suffering that happened those thousands of years ago so that we could enjoy all these many blessings, free and clear. The gift of life and the ever present chance to choose rebirth.

I have been here on this farm for ... can it be? nearly two weeks already. Just a few days shy. And I am still amazed, every morning, every evening, every hour at the beauty here. The way the light changes. The varied sounds of birds and animals just out of sight around me. I am beginning to recognize them. I have come to watch for the crane, the circling of the hawks nesting in the high tree tops along the south border out back. As in my previous home I had Fat Squirrel who would visit regularly, here there is Spunk Squirrel, a spunky little rodent that will whiz right by my dog's nose to scramble up the trees on the other side, swing from limb to limb, setting off the squeaky noises of what I imagine are tiny baby squirrels watching in admiration.

I've come to expect, already smiling, the lineup of plop plop plop and plop all along the edge of the pond as I near, fast frogs diving quick into the water, sending off concentric circles of ripples that spread and spread across the surface of the pond. I have yet to straight on see one; they are that fast. I see them through the corner of my eye. I see the circles they leave behind. I see the ripples expanding.

I am learning the names of plants and flowers as they come up. Those are skunk cabbages that crowd around the stream that trickles into the pond, lusting for the moist dark soil. And here are snowdrops, and masses of wild yellow primroses. Fiddlehead ferns are growing taller by the hour, I swear they are, and the tight green coil at the tip unfolding with every inch.

In the great oblong flower bed out back, lined with gray and white rocks, some big enough to perch upon, the daffodils and narcissus are blooming their last. Violets gather along the ground and creep up on rock edges. A large bush of bleeding hearts makes mine beat a little faster ... they are so tender, so flushed with vulnerable life, tiny tears collecting along their bleeding edges.

There is so much discovery here; I am almost overwhelmed. I can't imagine ever tiring of living here, because the farm and its surrounding land and sky overhead are in constant change. Every day I see new growth. Every hour of the day I see the light change, drawing new shadows. I am constantly running around with a camera.

The leaf trees are last to show their wealth. Small hints of leaves uncurl from branches, mostly still bare. Only the willows are full already--two sky high ones out back by the toolshed and one large one out front by the pond, hiding me from the dirt road. They weep beautifully.

My first vegetables are planted. Not outside as yet, as frost still threatens, and even tonight, the temperatures are said to dip below freezing, putting fear into fruit farmers throughout the region. I, too, fear for my fruit trees out back, just beginning to blossom. But my first play at a vegetable garden is now just inside my greenhouse. First tiny lettuce sprouts have burst up from the soil, looking like tiny green butterflies, as a friend commented, waking the village. Next to them are planted cherry tomato and beefsteak tomato seeds. I may just keep growing these in the greenhouse all summer and into autumn. Quick trip from the kitchen and there they are.

Time of rebirth, time of renaissance. Time to reinvent oneself, one's own life. All is forgiven, the blood is spilt, and from the stained soil rises new growth, opening into blossom. So much has changed in my life in the past couple weeks that I still feel a bit dizzy. New home, new job, and I am feeling the onslaught of learning so much new, so much new. I sleep like a log at night, deep and sweet, exhausted from learning all that new.

But it is all blessing. I took a leap of faith, the net appeared, and I continue to trust in that net. It was put there to catch me. Trust comes hard, and I catch myself sometimes thinking as I walk this land, agape with wonder, near waiting for someone to suddenly grab me by the shoulders and give me a good, hard shake--it's just a dream, Z, wake up!

Not a dream. It wasn't easy to take that leap into thin air. Trust is hard. But I did, and the blessings have been rich. Small comforts seep into my days, the first formations of new routine. Even the dog, even the cat have already found favorite spots, inside and out. When I take the old pup for a walk down the long dirt road, he knows which driveway to turn into that leads us Home ... to Z Acres.

We are Home, and from here, we celebrate the hope that is born of Easter. After the pain comes the balm. After the wound, the healing. After death, renewed life. We do this every spring. Every spring, we remember to believe in the impossible ... because it isn't.

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