Dead bird, still warm to the touch

Dead bird, still warm to the touch

Everywhere you walk in the woods Life and Death greet you.  In the springtime the flowers and the leaves and the grasses and the plants burst into joyful being.  But it’s impossible to walk two steps without being reminded about the inevitability of death.

I found the above bird, not long passed away, lying near the trees.  It probably crashed into one of our windows and died instantly.

A dangling explosion of a tree bud (anyone know what kind?)

A dangling explosion of a tree bud (anyone know what kind?)

Life shines out so new and beautiful at this time of year.  There’s a potency to the energy.  The Native Americans advised us to eat the parts of the plant where the energy is the strongest.  In the spring you eat leaves and buds.  In the summer, you eat the fruit and by autumn you’re nourished by the deepest root in the earth.  That’s how the energy in a plant travels.

Rotting decaying birch tree

Rotting decaying birch tree

The forest is constantly decaying.  There are downed trees everywhere.  Branches askew, losing bark and rotting.  Dried leaves molding and deteriorating.  Scat on the ground.  Plants dying.  Molds and fungus.  Everywhere that which once grew and tingled with new life is returning to the soil, composting the land, enriching the earth, in order to break down and nourish new seeds.

Trout lily

Trout lily

After a long winter of snow and freezing temperatures, our forest plants seem to burst.  They seem to grow faster than in warmer climates, as if attempting to reach the sun before the next snow falls.  The world cascades into green.  And then the glorious paintbrushes of nature paint vibrant colors everywhere.  We live in Paradise, perhaps.

A carpet of red maple buds beneath a tree

A carpet of red maple buds beneath a tree

The buds fall on the earth without a fuss, it seems.  They simply drop onto the earth and begin their next stage, their next transformation.  They simply let go when it’s time.  No rushing life, no prolonging life.  Simple:   now it’s time to burst and bud, now it’s time to let go.

Acorn beneath giant oak

Acorn beneath giant oak

Then there’s the acorn.  Is it alive or dead?  Or is it both?  It released from the oak that nourished it for so long, and now lies on the forest floor.  Will it be planted into the dirt and create a new oak tree?  Will it be simply break down to compost the old oak from which it birthed and died?  Is it about to rot, or create new life?  Or perhaps both?

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