After 10-20 inches of snow, it's looking like spring already!

After 10-20 inches of snow, it's looking like spring already!

Earth Day, 2009.  It’s here.  Did we all celebrate?  Did we all give gifts to the earth?  Did we all feel deep appreciation and love for our gently spinning planet?

As I mentioned yesterday, my “official” annual gift has been postponed.  The side of our road will be de-littered as soon as the snow melts.  The blue garbage bag awaits in anticipation. 

Instead, I spent an hour or so down by the Silver River this afternoon, admiring the river-waters.  My, is the water cresting after the latest deluge of snow!  As you sit very quietly along the riverbank, your pants getting soaked by the damp earth, the sound of snow clumps falling into the river resounds everywhere.  Ker-plop!  Down flies another wad from the cedar branches, from the hemlock arms, from the maple twigs.

Fallen trees drip snow into the river

Fallen trees drip snow into the river

It’s a hushed world in the swamp next to the river.  Dried orange and green cedar lies beneath the trees where the snow has melted away.  Birds sing and call, and ducks float away, just beyond the camera’s range.  The base of the trees often look strange and stunted, full of holes and odd angles.  Look at the tree legs below.  You can almost imagine that the tree walks around at night.

A tree with "legs" resting beside the river

A tree with "legs" resting beside the river

It looks so placid.  So tame.  Even with the water levels high and swirling by, it’s usually not a fierce river.  As it lazily winds out into the Huron Bay, at times it’s so shallow in the summertime you sometimes need to poke and prod along the sandy bottom to keep the craft moving. 

Placid waters?

Placid waters?

Last weekend a professor from Michigan Technological University lost his life while kayaking upstream on the Silver River.  The white-waters up higher grabbed his kayak and pinned him under a tree sideways.  He died.  The river can be dangerous as well as calm.  It’s a lesson we all need to remember when exploring on, around and in nature’s waters.  I thought of him and his grieving family, and gently touched the river.

I found the remains of a dead crow or raven under the cedar trees.  Only the feathers remained.

As for giving the Earth another gift today, I couldn’t decide what else to do. We live fairly simply.  We conserve, we try not to spend excessively, we try to fit in with nature.  Every day is Earth Day, in many ways. 

In the end, I decided perhaps my love and gratitude might be enough.  Maybe our combined love and and joy and thankfulness for the Earth is being heard deeply today.  Bless the earth and bless all of us, everyone.

The sun returns:  here comes the sun!

The sun returns: here comes the sun!

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