Spring has come to the grasslands. It wasn’t a particularly cold winter; just lots of snow. Once the weather warmed up everything else warmed up too. Calves are born in the fields, the wild horses bring their new foals down from the hills, trees bud, water flows, hummingbirds return, old cats get to sleep in the sun. We live in the sub-alpine just above the grasslands. I work in town, where the original settlements were built on the delta at the meeting of two rivers. The two major ecosystems, grasslands and forests, form a boundary between the gently rolling plateau and the vast, rugged highlands just to the east Soil is rich and the climate is warm; semi arid. I experience two springs. The one in town and the one at home, another 900 feet above. We marvel at the difference. It snowed last Monday but this week it has been 30 degrees C. in town and about 25 degrees here.
Gardening has started. Cinderella our Muscovy duck, now at least 10 years old, moved out of the barn last week. It was time to come out into the sunshine, wash off the dust of winter and start anew. Being a duck, she loves to swim. We have a kid’s pool for her and I filled it with water. Her tail wagged back and forth as she waddled over to the pool and hopped in. I am sure it felt magnificent. Spring is like that; the ability to start anew, clean, refreshed, reborn.
The next day she died. I found her lifeless beside her pool. I am so glad she had time for one more swim and to feel the warm sun again. It’s really all we have. The moment.