If I had to choose just one, I would say spring is my favorite season in the forest. The emerging wildflowers boldly shout, Wake up! Time to party!
After months of running through a winter landscape limited to white snow, brown tree trunks and green pine needles, my eyes are tickled by small bursts of bright yellow and deep blue emerging from the dirt. Wildflower season begins!
I stop frequently, taking photos of these beauties. Conall and Finn patiently wait until we start running again. My feet appreciate the springy feel of moist dirt underfoot as the boys and I run. Dropped pine needles, branches, and cones cover the ground, forming the duff and debris that replenish the soil, which in turn supports every plant, flower and animal in the forest.
As the snow slowly retreats to higher elevations, every run lets me feel a like a child at a scavenger hunt, dashing about, wondering when and where I’ll spy the first avalanche lily, sunflower, bluebell, or trillium. My favorites – lupine – will join the chorus soon. As the peak of wildflower season wanes near my home, the boys and I will simply venture higher in elevation where the cycle is starting fresh, and then higher yet again, through July. Endless spring.
Witnessing and pondering this natural transition between seasons during our forest run this morning, thinking about all the meanings of spring, I smiled inwardly. You’re entering a lifestyle “spring” of your own, with equally bold changes.
Transition is defined by Merriam-Webster as: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another: change; a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.
I suppose if I had a motto, it would be, “Change is good.” I’ve certainly said it often enough over the course of my life. And even if sometimes I was hauled kicking and screaming toward that change, after undergoing the transition I always came out the other side better, stronger, and happier.
That’s the mindset I’m adopting as 2021 brings major transitions to my life. Change is good. It might be a bumpy ride at times, but the destination will be worth it.
First, I decided I would sell my home in Idaho and move to Vermont. That’s still in progress.
But that decision meant another big change: I could no longer host dog camp (in Washington state) because I would be living too far away. I wrote to campers saying I hoped to host one last session in September 2021, but that would be the last hurrah for dog camp.
Then something remarkable happened. Last week I sold Maian Meadows Dog Camp, my beloved hobby business. The idea – to sell it – came out of left field. I reached out to a long-time dog camper and she enthusiastically agreed to take over, maintaining the tradition into the future. I started dog camp twenty years ago, having no idea what I was doing or whether it would succeed, but it did. Best of all, it became a family of like-minded dog lovers who simply wanted to spend a weekend hanging a bunch of nice people and dogs. I wrote about dog camp last September, when the 2020 session had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.
To know dog camp will live on? Priceless.
I couldn’t be happier about this transition. I will write more about it sometime soon.
The other transition – selling my home – is still a work in progress. I’ve been busy and distracted with all the stuff one must do to prepare a house for listing. May is my goal. I love this house, built in 2005. But I’ve fallen out of love with Idaho, and so, another significant life change is underway. More on that as it progresses.
This morning, though, the brave, resilient early wildflowers withstanding late-season snows and the blustery, cold winds of April reminded me that I, too, will be tossed about – with excitement when looking forward and a sense of loss when looking back – as I navigate the logistics and emotions of these transitions. I, too, need to flex my resilience muscles to stay upright, keep moving forward, facing each new day with anticipation for what will be, however it unfolds.
Washington, Idaho, Vermont…it’s all good.
Change is good.
For now, let me take you along (vicariously, through photos) on this morning’s run in the forest with the boys. Transition was the theme. Whenever I felt sad that I wouldn’t see these wildflowers next year, I reminded myself there’s much to discover about the natural world in Vermont, and that excites me. The peace and tranquility I find in the forest – especially on foggy, wet days when no one else ventures out – allow me the physical and emotional freedom to stretch while nature wraps my senses in the joys and promise of rebirth.
Feature image: bluebells in the forest 4/25/21.