BY JONI TAKANIKOS
June 17, 2015
I returned to Whidbey Island from a short trip to Amsterdam in mid-April. Although I was only gone for ten days, it seemed like everything had changed; the green was so alive it almost made me cry. Spring is full of such promise that it is also bittersweet.
How can we possibly survive such beautiful bursts of longing, as we stretch our arms out towards the sun, the green fields and the memories of past springs that wind their tendrils around our hearts?
No, I had not ingested any of those “magic mushrooms.” I was simply home after a long flight across the sea, when suddenly I found myself driving along a winding island road amidst the green glow of spring, and the emanations of all of this new green growth made me feel as if I was in a dream. All these weeks later—no longer jet-lagged but still drunk on island beauty—I am farther down the spring road, and I can almost see summer just ahead.
I am beginning to find myself wanting to soak up every last bit of spring before I ride the wave of summer. That is why I took a spontaneous walk in the spring rain last week. I was in Langley and I followed the pasture roads as far as I could and then back again, until I was thoroughly soaked in spring rain and feeling alive and wrapped inside the warm jubilance of an elemental bath.
If you want to capture more spring I suggest spending as much time as you can outside, whatever the weather, and letting yourself wander these island fields with new eyes that were born in just this season.
Poets do love spring and E.E.Cummings* was a master of translating this amazing time.
Spring is like a perhaps hand
Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and
changing everything carefully
spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
and from moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and
without breaking anything.
A great way to appreciate the transition from spring to summer is to visit our fabulous outdoor markets: Second Street Friday Market in Langley from 2 to 6 p.m., Bayview Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and South Whidbey Tilth Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a special South Whidbey Acoustic Music Festival at that location on June 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One of the things I have learned to practice in this life is to be particularly mindful around transitions, both big and small. Seasonal shifts are big transitions so before you find yourself chasing summer down the road, take some spring afternoons to lie in the grass and stretch your whole self out towards the moment at hand.
Joni Takanikos has seen over twenty springs on Whidbey Island. She was a resident of Hedgebrook one springtime very long ago and—and for a few glorious days this spring. She believes that sometimes wishes come true, often in the spring.
• • •
*Editor’s note: For any reader interested in the perpetual discussion of whether E. E. Cummings’ name should be capitalized and whether periods should go after each “e,” the following references are available: http://faculty.gvsu.edu/websterm/cummings/caps.htm and http://faculty.gvsu.edu/websterm/cummings/caps2.html.
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