West Virginia Morning: Witness

This morning the sky is the bluest blue and the trees dress early. I look out the bathroom window as I brush my teeth. I’m on the second floor, peering over the back yard, far into the meadow behind our house. From this bird’s eye view I see the maple is taking on her early leaf flocking, a soft magenta down where buds begin to unfold. And the pussy willow dons a cottony ragtop where the sun first touches her in the morning. All the fruit trees that hide in the meadow most seasons are beginning their conspicuous bloom. I run the brush through my hair and scramble downstairs, grab the camera and go out to stand under the earth’s awakening.

The coming of spring is nothing short of a miracle most years, but when spring arrives in mid-February? This is cause for celebration. I lose myself for a time in the slow-opening of a crocus, the way a branch offers a promise—prophesies.

I try not to think about the possibility of a late-season freeze. Isn’t this hope? Giving myself fully to this moment? Annie Dillard says, “ … beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” I am there. I am here. For just this moment, I will witness the miracle of spring.


  1. says

    Laura, I love that Dillard quote; it reminds me of God’s continual, extravagant gifts—attentive audience, or not. And I do long to be attentive.

    Snowing here. Another kind of beauty. But I needed a virtual crocus this morning!

    I am grateful to sink into your photos (4 and 5 are my faves) and imagine you wading through dew-strewn grass with your camera and clean teeth as you “go out to stand under earth’s awakening,” your gratitude and wonder frisking, tumbling over each other, then outward, to us. Thank you, friend.

  2. says

    Amen! Let us all be better about living in the moment. The freeze may come, but that is a worry for another day. Blessings on your weekend, Laura!

  3. says

    Thank you for this. We had warmth too, and buds coming. I couldn’t receive it very well. Change is hard. But we did drive the one mare. I never got back to give the other one her turn. What Dillard says about showing up for it? Yes and again yes. But not always so easy.

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