Breaking into blossom

We’re still seesawing between seasons in the Berkshires, the temperatures sometimes swinging 40 degrees in a single day. But there’s a red haze in the underbrush and a thickening in the upper branches of the trees. The brook roars day and night, its banks overrun with snowmelt and spring thaws. The fields remain brown and beaten down by winter, stalks sticking up out of the ground like the spokes of collapsed umbrellas. But something’s in the air — that wormy smell that so often follows rain. And something else: a sense of bated breath and expectation.

Here’s a poem that touches on this elusive, almost mystical feeling by the American poet James Wright who wrote with haunting lyricism about the vast lonely stretches of America, especially the Midwest.

A Blessing

James Wright (1927 – 1980)

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness   
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.   
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.   
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me   
And nuzzled my left hand.   
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

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9 Responses to Breaking into blossom

  1. Cheryl Sullivan says:

    I love your beautiful offerings of nature.

    “like the spokes of collapsed umbrellas”…… wonderful!

  2. Sue Norris says:

    Nice poem. /thanks for sharing.

  3. Emily Gyllenhaal says:

    hope again with the new season and seeing these slight changes. Yesteday on a walk with my dog, I had the sense of wanting everything (including vaccine offerings) to go faster and then remember how sweet this on-the-brink time feels…thanks for tracking the seasons.

    • Liza says:

      We had snow in the Berkshires yesterday so the spring stepped back from the brink for the time being. There’s no hurrying Mother Nature!

  4. Beverly says:

    Lovely reminder that spring is coming!

  5. Anders Gyllenhaal says:

    Has there ever been a spring more welcome than this one? If so, I don’t remember it. This feels like such a precious gift. Thank you for reminding us of the power of the changing season.

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