Happy April everyone! I hope it’s pleasant where you are. We’re having some beautiful spring weather in Florida. It’s by far my favorite time of year. The temperature is mild. The bald cypress trees are sprouting new growth. The confederate jasmine perfumes our neighborhood with its outrageously lovely fragrance. Rose buds unfold after their long confinement. And like a sleepy mother bear, I grumpily begin my slow crawl out of a peaceful hibernation.
Throughout March the birds were unusually active and vocal. An especially intense bird I used to think was a bittern but now know is a red tailed hawk has been screeching anxiously in the trees across the canal every day from dawn until dusk. He has a megaphone voice and it’s not easy to concentrate in the midst of that cacophony! Apparently this is his subtle way of advertising for a mate. I guess he found one because I haven’t heard from him in a few days, thank goodness! I imagine he’s found the girl of his dreams and his beak is now otherwise occupied in picking up moss and twigs for their love nest.
I’ve been experiencing similar issues. In the past month I’ve been compelled to leave my cozy winter routine behind and juggle a challenging final round of tasks in preparation for my new book. I was talking about it with my publisher today and he reminded me of an astrological event I’ve been hearing about. I don’t know much about these things, but I’m told Mercury is in retrograde, and when this happens it creates problems with communication.
Sure enough, in the week when the sunspots were particularly bad, both computers acted up with technical problems, and last week my e-mail provider stopped working off and on for a couple of days. This at a time when my communication needs were far more pressing than normal! At times like this one is tempted to ask, “Why me?” Fortunately I’ve had the presence of mind not to take the planetary alignment personally!
I’m happy to report that despite the universe’s interference, as of this month this new baby of mine is in the “final trimester”and all is progressing normally. We’ll have some advance copies ready for the New York Book Expo in June and the projections point to an official July birth! What with the fourth of July fireworks and my granddaughter’s first double-digit birthday, I’ll have a lot to celebrate then.
I’m noticing a related spiritual theme here: the universal problem of stretching ourselves to satisfy our drive for species-preparation and powerful need for love, the ensuing communication glitches and chaos that accompany busy preparations for birth, and the joyous celebration of new life that follows. No wonder Easter occurs this time of year. I mean nobody really knows when the events that led up to Christianity’s birth actually occurred, right? For all we know it could have been late August. But no! Every soul knows that wouldn’t feel right or meaningful to anyone.
No matter how hard we may try, there is simply no way to separate Nature’s cycles from our own. The human animal is intimately tied to the physical world in every way. There’s an inherent congruence between every cycle and every form of life: mental and physical, psychological and spiritual, planet and solar system, self and other. Moreover, as I wrote to a reader who commented today in response to my post about the symbolic meaning of trees, every aspect of Nature has a lesson for us if we look for it. Our world shows us where we are and what’s coming next all the time. Today I’m feeling especially grateful for her promise of new life.
I too have suffered from despair since childhood. It began at the age of 11 when my father died. To this day there are many occasions in my daily life when I cannot get excited about something because I know it will not last and my pleasure will not last and I will die and nobody will care and nothing I have done will make any difference, and so what?