A Different Kind of Pretty

My brain feels like the mushy foot of snow on the ground in my yard that skiers call corn snow. I’ve noticed hectic redpoll bird activity at the feeder and I’m pretty sure the bears will be up and about in a few weeks. So that bird feeder will have to come in soon.

This is mud season. When the snow starts melting, the ice starts thawing, the sap starts running, and the earth warms up. At the tail end of winter I get stuck in the dark routine of hauling wood and shoveling snow, grumbling at the lack of beauty, always forgetting that mud season is the messy celebration of the end of winter. For me, late winter is a stately woman in a long dark coat; beautiful, but who sticks around so long you get tired of looking at her. Then one day—and right around this time of year I always forget this part­­––with a flourish, she sweeps the coat off, revealing a startling sequined outfit underneath.

My winter-stilted ennui always jolts away when that sequined spring arrives, reminding me once again that I am part of the natural world. That its cycles are my cycles. Recognizing myself in nature, I let my mushiness go the way of the spring melting snow, and settle into the contentment of belonging.