The Hell With The Calendar, Spring Is Here!

by Jesse Wolf Hardin on February 24th, 2012
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The Hell With The Calendar, Spring Is Here!

by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Anima School & Sanctuary

The blissful savage view, is that the seasons have changed when it feels like they do.

Anima Sanctuary, New Mexico, in Apparant Spring! Photo by Jesse Wolf Hardin

It’s still three weeks until the start of Spring, the calendar says. Nonsense, I say.

Here in the mountainous wilds of southwest New Mexico, we’ve had barely any Winter and there have been impossible to overlook signs of Spring since the end of January. Spring-like buds have formed on the Alders and Cottonwoods that I nourished in their return to the canyon of the Rio San Francisco. Spring-like, is the eruption of Dock and Lemon Balm leaves from our little raised-bed herb garden area, and the explosive plant-gasms of the Juniper trees doing its best to copulate with every living thing and leaving me sneezing like crazy. Temperatures these sunny days have been mostly in the high 60s, and the water at the top of the rain barrels has only occasionally frozen over in the course of our nights. There are more and more varieties of bird calls heard each dawn awakening, and I sense stirring within me the seasonal re-excitement that has for centuries inspired the abandon of sense-crazed lovers and truancy of still-wild children.

But why qualify such demonstrations as “Spring-like”, instead of simply recognizing, acknowledging, savoring and honoring it as an early Spring?


Four Seasons art by Hibbary


After all, the officially designated four seasons are no more than a proportional quartering of a solar year, hinged on the evident shortest and longest days of the year. As significant as the Winter Solstice is, it only marks the true start of a natural year, and not a seasonal transition. And the Fall and Spring Equinoxes don’t mean diddly-squat… in observable, experiential terms. I’ll assume the savage’s viewpoint on this one, one not restrained by civilization’s Roman Empire day planners, divided into unequal seasons according to the arrival of telltale events.

Summer comes with a stilling of the winds and the expected shift in the color schemes of local wildflower conventions. We know Fall is here, when nighttime temperatures began rapidly dropping, when the leaves on these Cottonwood trees that I nursed from babies begin to yellow and bugling elk announce the start of another seasonal run of X-rated stag parties. Winter declares itself with the abandonment of nests by migrating phoebes and the falling of the last deciduous leaf, when the prevailing winds start blowing out of instead of towards the north and east. And so while it is still clearly Winter in Alaska and the Ukraine, here and in many other parts of this country it is already, fully, incontrovertibly Spring.

So the hell with Ceaser’s calendar. Spring has sprung, it’s time to celebrate!


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Categories: Jesse Wolf Hardin – Essays & Tales, Our Life in The Wilderness

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