A V-formation flew overhead. Lucy the dog and I watched it with necks craned back. The Canada geese had returned. My heart expanded with love of the season, wanting to break out and embrace every bud and creature that dared to speak despite the brisk temperatures. Each spring is like a rebellion in nature. That which lives will have its say, and like a ruthless dictator, the winter, which seemed impossible to depose just a few short weeks ago, begins to look increasingly toothless.
Over in the cropped linden trees the smaller birds are singing in an increasingly complex chorus. With each day that passes there are more voices. It’s beginning to sound like Mahler. Today a new diva in the branches catches Lucy’s attention. She sits with pricked ears and cocked head, and listens to this sound she has heard before but never tires of. Lucy is a retriever, in other words, a bird dog. Everything relating to birds fascinates her and now she has passed on her fascination to me. The thing about the birds in the trees is that it is often hard to spot where all of the sounds are coming from with the naked eye. I suspect that Lucy can smell the birds from her spot down on the ground. Without binoculars, I settle for the idea that trees sing. Not a bad thought.
Then down on the grass a crow caws condescendingly, provoking Lucy. There is something about crows that sends her blood pressure up. I hold her back and behold the raven creature. It looks at me with a regal air, as though I am nothing but a tiny spot. It is perhaps this attitude that gets Lucy all riled up. She’s a Swedish dog: she likes groups, lagom, consensus and togetherness; not a crow’s haughty tune.
We’ve gone to observe the small islands of tiny spring flowers breaking out on the sun-struck hills. Nature’s rebellion is dramatic. It has been going on under the snow for quite some time without anyone seeing it. Now as the snow retreats it is there for everyone to notice. There are purples, yellows, whites and all manner of shapes. The difference of form that life takes in this new free time is exciting and almost unbelievable after the montone rule of winter.
We’ve arrived back home and I urge Lucy to come in for breakfast. She cocks her head once again in such a way that says, “why?” Not even breakfast can tempt her out of the sun and the revolution of nature happening outside. She is a dog of the people and shuns creature comforts to be out there with them, witnessing the fall of winter.
Out the back window I can see that she has instead run to greet Mrs. Bengtsson, an avid gardener well into her eighties. We have opened up our two gardens so that all of us can enjoy a bigger garden. Mrs. Bengtsson is one of those diehard spring rebels and finds a great deal in common with Lucy the light lover. She has already cut back all of her bushes in readiness for the greenery. My heart is there with her but I am still here at my keyboard putting my faith in the written word to inspire you to become a rebel too (if you are not one already, that is).
Happy News! My new book, “Rose in the Sand,” which is a memoir of Swedish island life and the writing of which has generously been sponsored by a literary prize from www.gather.com will be out this April. Join me at Facebook and/or Twitter for notification about the release date and more information about how to order it at my web site. Learn more about my writing and other projects at www.julielindahl.com. I a manage a non-profit for bringing story-telling to schools as a new tool for learning and communicating. If you are a principal, teacher or other person interested in knowing more about this, please visit www.storiesforsociety.com and get in touch!
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