“Hildie Hedgehog threw open her bedroom window. The morning air smelled sweet as honeysuckle and as warm as a sunlit pond. Spring had come at last to the Big Woods!”
These are the opening words to Hildie’s Hat Party, the children’s story that I am currently working on. Hildie Hedgehog–the main forest character in the story, is like so many of us us earth dwellers, who long for the final snow to melt and the warmth of Spring to dawn. This Winter and Spring I have been busy painting illustrations for this little storybook–pushing to get it ready to launch by Spring–but like this season that is often slow to arrive–with numerous setbacks–so is my progress on this book. It won’t be ready any day soon.
So instead of talking about Hildie’s Hat Party, I decided to post a poem instead about Spring in Colorado. It titled it Rocky Mountain Spring. I felt it was appropriate as looked through my snow-flocked windows at the blowing whirls of ice and snow–noting that today is March 23rd. For those of you who live in the Rocky Mountain regions–you’ll smile, knowingly. For my Southern friends–enjoy your early blooms and think of us as you inhale the morning air and smell the sweet flowers under your window.
Rocky Mountain Spring
Whirling. Whipping. Cold winds blow—
(But not as cold as last week!)
The hikers turn up collars, warding off the March chill.
Melting snow reveals a sprig of green.
Under naked branches of the Elm and Cottonwood,
They move along the forest trail—watchful
Lest they trample snow-bells or purple and yellow crocus,
Whose resurrection has finally come.
Basking in the warm rays of this early spring day
The fee-bee-bee-bee of the Mountain Chickadee
Joins other birds as they build their nests—
Sing their songs.
A scruffy squirrel scurries along a rotting stump
Steaming in the sun.
He pauses—bushy tail flicking—
Beady eyes watching these pilgrims.
Suddenly a scream pierces the air. Heads jerk upward.
A speck in the sky becomes a hawk circling—one, two, three times.
He disappears into a tall pine,
Sharp talons clutching his furry breakfast.
These forest wanderers delight in witnessing ‘first things’—in the woods,
And marvel at nature’s many mysteries.
They smile into the sun, smelling damp earth and the moldy
Leaf-bed upon which their clumsy feet tread.
Spring has come again. Winter retreats.
God’s good cycle repeats itself.
This symphony of life unfurling becomes a celebration for all.
Great and small,
Linda K. Bridges ©2016