Real Spring is finally here, the kind of day where you aren’t bundled up in fleece and the first shoots of green leaves aren’t covered with frost. The wind doesn’t slice through you, biting at your skin.
It is the kind of day where a walk through the woods finds your nose smelling a light sweetness, and you think you are dreaming of honey soaked cookies fresh from the oven. No, it really is the smell of a wild flower, floating on the warm breeze along the trail by the river. Foliage is bursting out all over, delicate leaves and tiny flowers on nearly everything that is coming up from the dark richness of the forest soil.
The river races by below me, still fresh with the yesterday’s rain, but clearing, with the rocky pools a deep green, even a bit of blue, and the sun filters through the newly opened leaves of the alders, and the new, tight buds of the Douglas firs.
My camera and I enjoy the walk along the trail, taking in the trilliums, the bleeding hearts, and even the new Johnny Jump-ups, while the new fiddles of the sworn ferns and princess ferns unfurl. All too soon, the forest floor and this path will be shaded by the broad leaves of the Big Leaf Maples, the vine maples, and the alders towering above them. But, today, the white drooping flowers of the Big Leafs and the delicate double red flowers of the vine maple show their colors, and take center stage.
My leg muscles stretch and strain a bit, getting used to the slope of the trail and the newness of an hour hiking, and its warm enough that I sweat a bit, breathing in the sweet scent of flowers and the earthy river water, tumbling across the boulders and basaltic ledges of the river bed, washed nearly clean with last winter’s floods.
In a bit, I’ll be picking my guitar, and finding chords for old country songs, and waltzes, feeling the rich, long notes of the fiddle, and the high, sweet notes of a mandolin will fill my heart with songs of joy, of old times. And, the warmth of the day will be felt on my guitar and the sweetness of the wildflowers will sing through my heart, as I raise my voice with the others, sharing our chorus of the old country tune.