Friday, March 16, 2012

First robin

The telltale call in the wee hours of the morning, herald of spring. This year, a robin has moved in so close to my little flat that I have resigned myself to the reality that when the windows are open this year, I will be awakened long before dawn. No way around it.

Lake Michigan shore, Feb 2010 - Photo: Margaret Swedish
And this year the windows are open early. Record warmth has spread across the country, while I'm still wondering what happened to my winter. I am missing deep in my soul the frozen lake, the ice sculptures formed when the winter storms send waves crashing on the rocks and bluffs. I am missing the unforgettable, awe-striking sound of water undulating beneath the ice sheets on the lake's surface, the sounds of cracking, the almost imperceptible motion of the ice that if you really pay attention to it can make you feel dizzy, as if the earth itself is gently rocking, rocking.

We are shattering records by 30-40 degrees. I say to my friends, if it's 82 in March, what will it be in July?

Are we scared yet?

Or does the robin song in the hours before dawn annoy the sleep-deprived, the busy workers, the ones who stayed up late playing Wii games?

Remember humans back in the days when we believed we were a part of nature and grateful to Mother Earth for all she has given us? No, I suppose not, just the stuff of legend and myth for the White Man. We have more important things to do - like tearing her up to make stuff for our pleasure, the pleasure of avoiding this most intimate and challenging relationship, the one that would tell us we are abusers and dominators and need to get into therapy right away, or have a court render an emergency injunction to keep us away from our Mother so that we don't hurt her anymore.

My WI State Senator Chris Larson is in favor of opening a potentially 4-mile wide, 21-mile long, 1,000 foot deep, iron ore mine in Wisconsin's Northwoods - but doing it in an environmentally responsible manner. I don't know if I have ever heard so loud a clash of contradictions inside my head. Is there a sexually responsible way to commit rape? And he's a progressive Democrat!

Dear Sen. Larson, when they open that wound, when they bulldoze the forests and open that wound, that environment is destroyed - permanently!

Back to the robin song - a cry of beauty in the dark morning, a herald of dawn, of the edge of morning approaching the horizon. We humans should even dream of having such beauty within us.

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