🌲 A Nemophilist’s Booklist🌲

One quite understands Albert in his quest for quiet. The poor fellow leaves his noisy house, goes to the beach, but people follow him everywhere. He has pups to keep an eye on, friends who want him to help build a sandcastle, but all Albert wants to do that day is read quietly. Finally, he does get all his furry and non-furry friends to join him in his reading, and he gets his quiet read after all.

916T1yLB95L

The preceding week the son captured the feeling perfectly when he said, “Wow! It is only Tuesday! I thought it was Thursday.” 

As the week wore on, I thought wistfully of that half marathon run through the forest a couple of weeks ago. Was it only a few weeks ago? Why hadn’t I walked the whole way – enjoying the new shoots of ferns, the ring of trees, the fresh green leaves against the older darker leaves? Still,  it was easy to remember the forest, and immersion in a forest seemed like a wonderful option. I said as much to the son and he rolled his eyes, but agreed that it would be a wonderful idea. 

img_5125

So when the week-end finally rolled around: we did the next best thing: went to the library and picked up a few children’s books that could get us a peek into their leafy pages. 

There truly is nothing that can come close to actually being in the forest. 

Enjoying the breeze – that unique sense of air molecules that just passed the canopy above flutter past you

Admiring the community – that feeling the interconnectedness of the ecosystem that holds the forest together, the mycelia, fungi, birds, squirrels, insects

Being in the presence of creation – that feeling of awe that only the artistry of creation can bring

All of that is part of the old magic of the forests.

Some authors manage to capture a tiny part of these aspects through their illustrations, words, and phrases. 

  • A Whiff of Pine and a Hint of Skunk -by Deborah Ruddell, Illustrated by Joan Rankin
  • Redwoods – by Jason Chin
  • In the woods – by David Elliott ; illustrated by Rob Dunlavey 
  • The perfect tree – by Chloe Bonfield 

The last book, The Perfect Tree was really a perfect book if one wanted to lose oneself in beautiful thoughts of trees. How does one find a perfect tree? The woodpecker thinks the perfect tree is his own, while the squirrel finds his own tree filled with his secret stash of berries and nuts is the perfect one. A soft smile spread across my face as I flipped through the pages. 

Screen Shot 2023-05-24 at 4.59.08 PM

To spend time in a forest is to spend time with your soul. To see the blues, greens, yellows and browns merge together in that trick of light (Komerabi : the phenomenon of sunlight through filtering through the leaves above) is to experience luminescence.

木漏れ日: tree (木), shine through (漏れ), and sun (日): Komerabi

⚡️💨⛈Where did the clouds go?⚡️💨⛈

Dawn’s early light was visible through the windows. Not usually an early riser, I stood at the window scouring the skies for a waning moon. But I could detect nothing. Not even the faint illumination behind the clouds. It was such thick cloud cover. It may have sprinkled a few droplets of rain over the course of the night, but there was nothing now. We were thoroughly engulfed by clouds. For a brief moment, my mind wanted to glimpse our little patch of Earth from up above: from the international space station or the moon maybe. 

What would we see?  

Not the stirring of millions of people and their emotions, their flurry consciousness gasping for clarity as thoughts scudded through the clouds of sleep.  Definitely not the demands of civilization for the human-beings, and the demands of life for the birds and animals we share the planet with. It was a nice thought – even if only for a few moments, that sense of perspective before the days’ events obscured it.

How many would wake up anxious: their worries and banes flooding in with their consciousness? How many would wonder and plan about the day ahead and make lists on what needs to be accomplished in the next 16-20 hours, how many were nervous or weary about facing another day? How many were happy to get started on the day’s adventures? 

IMG_4826

As we made our way to the son’s school, it was still cold and nippy. The weather forecast had said it was a hot day with an expected high in the mid-80s. I thought how marvelous it was that it was wrong and gave us the beauty of a ponderous cloudy day instead. 

IMG_20200404_153332

As I made my way through the day, however, I was left stretching yearningly for that dreamy cloudy day morning, the peaceful thoughts before the day began, and the lovely sweet thoughts of a blue and white planet floating peacefully around its star. By the time two meetings were done with, the clouds had all vanished without a trace. Which was astounding as there seemed to be no breeze in that time either. What had happened to the clouds? Had they simply evaporated? I found there was hardly time for musing thus, as another set of ti-ding ti-ding’s – messages scurrying for attention interrupted, and all thoughts of fates of clouds had to be shelved for a better time. There was business that needed looking into. 

Perhaps 16 hours later, after another couple of night-time meetings, I felt the need to step out. It was as I stepped out into the dark cool of the night after the days’s tasks were almost done with, that I could calm down enough for a thought other than what-needed-to-be-done could nudge its way in. It was the stars that enabled this – and I thought that it must be brilliant for a star to know how helpful they are. Foolish thoughts after a tiresome day, but the realization of their absurdity brought a smile to my face.

I sat down on the park bench, my face turned upwards. Looking up at the blinking fairy lights of the universe, reminding us of the magic of the heavens. I noticed a few clouds here and there, and suddenly it all seemed so long ago that I had looked up at a sky full of clouds:  all these stars were shining brightly behind them then too. 

I sighed contentedly as I rose to go to bed, looking forward to a few more hours of magic: reading before drifting off to sleep. 

Maybe the next morning would be a blissfully cloudy morning too.

🪷Happy 18th Birthday 🍀

May is the beautiful month of beauty, warmth , work, and birthdays (including the blog’s birthday) 

The nourish-n-cherish saga is now officially an adult in the muggle world (18 years of age) 

Over 1080 posts in, the blog seems to have had its own growth.

In the beginning , it was a place for short anecdotes on family and children. 

Over time, as it neared school going age, I suppose the blog grew too

It started showing interests in varied subjects: gravitating towards science and nature based subjects for sure, but also retaining that shy curiosity about life and a sense of humor as we navigated the vicissitudes of life. 

It isn’t as personal as a diary, so I doubt it will serve as a pensieve, but it serves as a cup of joy from which to sip when in a reminiscing mood.

🧘🏼‍♀️There were times when I could philosophize, contemplate, marvel in safety.

IMG_20200404_153332

Whatever it’s purpose was while starting out, I think I can safely say that it has helped along several dimensions (like a snowflake) 

When first I started moving out of only personal anecdotes to writing a thing or two on a book I read etc, it seemed to have opened a door to innate curiosity. 

Suddenly, I was more interested in varied topics, trying to understand different perspectives, open my mind to areas that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity to, etc. Inevitably, with all this fodder came the benefits of cross pollination, the joys of thinking through things, or the rewards of quiet contemplation. 

In short, what started as a hobby soon became a source of such gratification, learning and joy that I could not help sharing with my friends (who, for their part have been nothing short of spectacular with reading, inspiring and encouraging me) 

There have been times I’ve wondered what it all amounts to.But then I realize that it already has amounted to magnitudes more than I thought possible (sometimes human imaginations are limited.) 

IMG_4302-COLLAGE

⚡️Those moments when I am spinning ideas in my head, and have to stop mid-stride when a thought strikes.

⛈The magic of writing, re-writing and re-rewriting to get a piece right.

👻The frustration of unfinished pieces from a decade ago because of lack of time.

∫ The joy of tucking a good memory away so it can replenish us in written form later.

🪷The thrill of creativity as new ideas come in – the long list of children’s books ideas waiting to be written (also novellas & short stories) I have wisely given up on the idea of a novel given the constraints of time – but one never knows!

To all of you who have joined me on this journey, whether gamely taking it in your stride when featured, or given me things to think about as part of our stimulating conversations, or inspired me to try new things, or just being there in my life: Thank You! 

A Redwood Run

It has been a few years since we attempted a destination run. The type where we run for the scenery, the physical gravitas of one’s surroundings, and the joy of camaraderie among one’s fellow runners. As we ran through the redwood forests, I thought to myself how marvelous it was to run and run like a true child of the Earth without urban buildings, construction noise, and piles of concrete. Even the gray road through the forest felt poetic and somehow attuned to its surroundings. (Well, maybe the double yellow lines were a bit jarring, but the gray road didn’t feel quite so intrusive) 

img_5125

After a chaotic start to the half-marathon, it took some time for us to settle into the run. The traffic jams were horrendous – the husband’s implacable optimism about making it to the start line on time was a bit misplaced, especially when we could see other runners leap out of their cars and run to the start line (adding a good mile to their already long runs). Our group  of runners were split between two cars and by the time the bibs were collected and we started the race, it was a good 20 minutes past the race start. To make matters worse, the officials were adding to the confusion yelling to all in the vicinity that they would be removing the starter mats that record time. We were thoroughly frazzled as we ran across – not at all sure it had recorded our run, but we ran anyway. 

The son ran a 10K, while the husband and I ran the half-marathon. The son having age and weight on his side flew on, while we huffed and puffed behind him trying to keep up. This resulted in a shin injury for the husband (which, he told me later, almost had him wondering whether he should do a 10K instead. Coming from the sun-is-shining husband, this must’ve been a serious enough injury) However, some stretches and slow miles later, he seemed to be in a better shape. 

As we ran on and on, deeper into the forest, there was tranquillity there. A meditative pulse to running through trees that started life when humanity was still contemplating  the merits of civilized living. Physical gravitas takes on a new meaning in the redwood forests. Young shoots and ferns, the young greens against the textured markers hues of the older trees, the sunlight poring through the branches high above. I thought of the books on redwood trees – Richard Power’s Overstory – the best one I could think off: powerful in its imagery and cathartic to think about just then.

“This is not our world with trees in it. It’s a world of trees, where humans have just arrived.” 

– Richard Powers, The Overstory

Between the 7th and 8th mile, I thought I’d missed the mile marker somehow. It seemed interminably long. My leg seemed to have just given up, and I found myself looking up into the tall redwoods begging for strength. To drink from the infinity that seemed to stretch among those majestic trunks. It helped. The depths of the forest tends to speak to the depths of the soul, and I prodded on, careful not to tell the husband about the injury like saying it out loud would somehow make the injury worse. I stretched, grimaced, and plodded on. Each mile excruciatingly long. 

img_5114

I thought of the gray road cutting the mycelium web underground that sustained these trees for millennia and felt a strange stab of remorse : would the web have found a way to continue underneath the gravel to sustain the trees on either side? I’d have to check. 

Cosmos episode for: The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth : narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, written by Ann Druyan & Carl Sagan

But yet again, the forest helped. 

Whenever the body felt drained and the pain in the right leg flared up, it felt grounding to remind myself that running this course was one of the best things to happen. For the redwoods were calm, the mists rolling in mystical, and the pattering of fellow runner’s feet grounding. There was a strange other worldliness to running through the redwood forests. Pain (possibly ITB) the only reminder that this was not a dream.

I cannot tell you how marvelous it felt to run the last mile and arrive at the finish line – famished yes, but we had managed to finish! Between our injuries, and a clatter of a start, a horse-wallop of a run, we had finally finished. The son was there cheering us on and all was well.

Having a wonderful set of friends on the journey is always helpful, and though we were scattered throughout the race, and didn’t see much of each other – the glimpses and cheers we did get was hugely inspiring.

31cd5c30-3b9c-4241-95e1-a5e263e1fbab

color_pop

⚡️💨⛈ Oh! To be a cloud! ⚡️💨⛈

Time spent in a beautiful meditation of clouds, is time well invested in one’s soul. I am convinced of it. 

The past week had me sighing and exclaiming at nature’s shows. The multi-layered clouds rolled in, and treated the populace to extraordinary shows of the skies. 

At times, it would be the shades of gray against the white fluffy clouds as a backdrop. 

img_5011

At others, it would be the inevitable beauty of the setting sun’s rays as it used the clouds as a canvass for their light based shows.

img_5001

Sometimes, I would find myself after a late night meeting simply looking at the moon flit in and out of the marvelous multi-layered curtains in the sky, to the orchestra of the winds through the trees outside. 

img_5009

One such time, I found myself picking up two beautiful children’s books and flipping through them with contented sighs. If only one could bottle up these little moments, there wouldn’t be angst or turmoil in the world.

Owl Moon : By Jane Yolen

Owl Moon

The Boy and the Blue Moon: By Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Ashley Crowley

Both books managed to capture the beauty of the moon’s rays so perfectly. 

I wonder whether the animals we share the planet with enjoy the cloudy days. They seem to be. One morning on a beautiful morning when thoughts of gratitude flitted in and out, much as light seem to be flitting through the scudding clouds overhead, I stopped in awe at the birds. This season, I noticed many more birds – maybe a bounteous winter made for a marvelous nesting season for the birds as well, who knows?

But the blackbirds, geese, herons, storks, pelicans, wood-ducks, grebes, hawks, turkey vultures, bald eagles, harriers, thrush, sparrows, robins, woodpeckers, avocets, yellowlegs, hummingbirds, and so many species that I can’t identify, have been flitting and filling the air with beautiful characteristic sounds.

img_5037-collage

Life seems busy as the conscientious parents take care of their newly hatched young. 

img_5016

As I write this, a mild rain is falling outside – so gentle there is no discernible sound of the rain. The only sounds  are those of chirping birds like a soothing backdrop to the drama in the skies: The grays against the greens and the multicolored flowers a unique kind of meditation. 

#Nephophilia : a lover of clouds

“How sweet to be a cloud. Floating in the blue!”    

– A. A. Milne

🪷An Anthophile’s Angst🪷

The Earth in spring is filled with ephemeral beauty. If only there was a way for us to shore up these stores of promise and beauty to dip into on long, drab days when hope isn’t shining out of every pore, life would be set. 

Last week-end, one of my best friends whisked us from our homes to a place where Earth, as Ralph Emerson Waldo, so clairvoyantly says, laughs in flowers. I had seen pictures of tulips from Netherlands, and from Oregon and Washington states as well. It is hard to miss these photographs on social media. But it has helped build the yearning to visit these flower fields in the peak of spring. Who says dreams do not come true? They do, and often, in ways you do not expect, adding a delicious twist of serendipity to the experience. For this time, it came in the form of a girls’ trip to one of my best friends’ home. The exemplary hostess that she is, we came back feeling like queens, glowing in the warmth of laughter and love she enveloped us in, and smiling secret smiles filled with tulips, daffodils, fields, lakes, clouds and the sound of the twinkling camaraderie between friends.

Walking in and out of these flower fields, I stopped to see the different ways in which we sought to preserve these memories for ourselves. The photographs were fast and furious. Some folks, like ourselves, tried silly photographs, and some others were trying their best to obscure the pictures and their angles so as remove the other people around them. I quite understood the yearning, but also felt a bit cheated (though I was guilty of the same thing). You see? I had expected to see endless fields of tulips stretching far into the horizon as far as the eye could see. What I saw instead was a finite field of flowers. They were brilliant, but not endless. The angle of photography can be misleading indeed.

IMG_4722-COLLAGE

The ones most appreciative among us were a couple of dogs that stopped to sniff the blossoms reminding me of the dog in Mary Oliver’s poem that loved to sniff flowers.

“I had a dog
who loved flowers.…

she adored
every blossom

not in the serious
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom

the way we praise or don’t praise –
the way we love
or don’t love –
but the way

we long to be –
that happy
in the heaven of earth –
that wild, that loving.”

Mary Oliver

Maybe the dog caught a whiff for their sense of smell is far sharper than ours, but we shall never know what the dog smelled. I shall however remember the satisfied contented look in its eyes. There was another child who sniffed at the tulips and looked up questioningly. I understood the confusion in the child’s face for it mirrored mine from a few moments ago: the tulips weren’t fragrant exactly  – they simply had no smell. 

dog_flower

As I stood there surrounded by tulips first and then daffodils in another farm, I thought longingly of the patch in my front garden. For two years now, I have been trying to get it to bloom. But like a trichologist (Trichology is the scientific study of hair) battling a particularly persistent bald man’s patch, it has so far resisted. A shining bald patch in the middle of the yard, simply refusing to burst forth and shine in the spring time. How these horticulturists managed to get this many plants to bloom altogether, and not one of them a dud, is beyond me. #EarthMagicians.

In any case, I thought to myself as I sniffed a flower, I take inspiration from the dogs in spring time bounding about with energy and a bubbling happiness trying to capture infinity in flowers. An anthophile’s (lover of flowers) angst is easily remedied in the ephemeral beauty of every blossom. No rose stops to think of its purpose in life does it?

“Wild roses,” I said to them one morning.
“Do you have the answers? And if you do,
would you tell me?”
The roses laughed softly. “Forgive us,”
they said. “But as you can see, we are
just now entirely busy being roses.”
– Mary Oliver , Roses

🪷🍁🍀🍇🌴The Power of Plants🪷🍁🍀🍇🌴

Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan Drori Illustrated by Lucille Clere

80_plants

Reading about plants and how they shaped our lives is a fascinating endeavor. How little we stop to think when we sprinkle turmeric, or asafoetida in our foods? Turmeric and Asafoetida by themselves are used so ubiquitously in Indian cooking that we quite forget the journeys from farm to consumption.

Starting off with plants that I have heard of in the magical context such as Myrtle, Wormwood, Clovers, Mandrakes, the book makes its way through plants that influenced our  civilizations in different parts of the world. 

The amount of information packed into a 200-page book is amazing and warrants a place in the reference section. 

We are mostly aware of the fact that we have not even scratched the surface when it comes to the potential of plants and their medicinal uses. There are around 380,000 plant species in the world, and we do not know how many are not catalogued yet. Even the ones in popular use, we do not yet know their potential. Take the Mexican Yam for the instance. It grows like a vine and produces its tubers.  

Yet, when I read about the Mexican Yams (Dioscorea Mexicana), I was blown away. The humble vegetable has a substance called diosgenin. Diosgenin, it turns out, is a vital starting ingredient for the manufacturing of steroids. Steroids are used to treat asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases. 

“The use of steroids expanded in the 1940s, but the drugs, derived from animals and even humans, were hideously expensive. At one time, it took forty oxen to provide the cortisone to treat one arthritic patient for a day. “

– Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan Drori

How many times have I applied the cortisone ointments to relieve eczema for the children, without considering how we came by it?

As if this weren’t enough, they are also used in the production of sex hormones progesterone and testosterone. 

“The biggest boom of all came from the use of yam-derived progesterone and other hormones to trick a woman’s body into acting as if it was pregnant thereby inhibiting ovulation. The contraceptive pill was born.”

– Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan Drori

Our lives as we know it today, have been forever changed thanks to this humble vegetable. 

“It is fitting that a plant with splendidly heart-shaped leaves should have had such a profound effect on the well-being and love lives of millions of people.”

– Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan Drori

img_4603

Spring in the Sierra Nevada

The yearning for adventure was astir. Yodeling by the river was not enough, huffing and puffing like penguins in the Atlantis marathon was not enough. Luckily, spring time in California never disappoints the strider in the hills. So, off we went traveling to the Sierra Nevada mountains. 

Driving up to the mountains, we passed by the green hills, greener pastures, and entire meadows, and hillsides covered in lupines, daisies, poppies, milkweed, and little yellow flowers (So many varieties!). If ever any one needs their worries and woes to flee, a drive like this is all it would take.

“In every wood, in every spring, there is a different green.” – J R R Tolkien

 Yosemite National Park is probably one of the most explored parks in the world. 

🪨Every major boulder is given an impressive (sometimes humorous) name: El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks. 

💦Every major perennial waterfall carefully charted – yet every year in spring with the snow melt, the number of little creeks and waterfalls that arrive and vanish before the summer’s heat is like trying to estimate how many chips a kid would eat out of a fresh packet. 

🏞 Every picturesque spot named – there is even a week dedicated to photographing a waterfall – that week the rays of the sun at sunset make the waterfall look like a volcanic lava flow. Photographers spend hours waiting for that wondrous shot.

Of course in spite of everything been catalogued and charted, nature finds a way to impress and astonish. High up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, we expected to be cold.

But, Spring in the Sierra Nevadas felt like winter left in a huff one evening. No lingering farewells, no tears, no gloom, no fussing. Just packed its bags and left.

Spring pranced in, as though waiting back-stage secretly shooing winter off for a bit of shine in the spotlight,  and all the world suddenly brightened and lit up in the sunshine. We were so shocked to have two days without needing thermals, or jackets and just listening to the snow melt from the peaks whooshing down the rivers.

As we walked through the forests of Yosemite, poetic phrases bubbled up. Why oh why does this happen, and how oh how does the world know April is Poetry Month?

So we bubbled along, squirting out our little phrases. The ones that came and the ones we contrived to fit the ones that came.

  • Earth, River, Forest, Light
  • Green, Blue, Brown, Yellow
  • Pristine ponds reflecting these sights.
  • img_4460
  • River rapids, 
  • Birds chitter, 
  • Breeze mellow.
  • img_4557
  • Pine wood, 
  • Gnarled roots, 
  • Bulky boulders.
  • img_4551
  • Puddles in the middle
  • Rugged rocky cliff faces
  • Moss clinging to these spaces.
  • img_4584

This has probably been the most generous winter I have witnessed in the past two decades in California. I felt bad for the number of trees that were felled due to the extraordinary winds and rains coming after years of near-drought, but overall, I was grateful. 

Wherever we turned in the massive valley – rivers and waterfalls surrounded us. It is truly a beautiful time. When the power of Earth makes you feel humbled, grateful, and joyous, is there a better retreat? 

yosemite

Lessons in Spring Time

I sat one spring morning feeling a kinship that felt very Wind in the Willows, Frog & Toad, or any other sweet animal story that comes to mind. I thought fondly of the animal characters in my Festivals in the Jungle series (My own characters Oby Elephant, Jenny Rat, Biso Bison et al ). 

Spring in the world means that a whole world sits up and takes notice. At least schools still honor this joyous season with a Spring Break. I am happy (and just a little jealous) to see the story book tucked under the son’s arm as he nestles into his reading nook in the mid-morning with his City Spies book, followed by a vigorous hour of television watching on the couch.

While most white-collar job humans have created have schedules and tasks quite divorced from the natural world outside, the bulk of the creatures that we share our planet with, have not fallen to this folly. 

So, it is with glee that I stop typing to peer outside the window to see a bunch of squirrels fooling about and squealing – having fun while chasing each other and gearing up for the year ahead. It is with a surge of protectiveness that I look at the thrushes who are building and fortifying their nest in our patio. It is with pride that I look up and see a crow carry a long string in its beak for its own nest. It is with joy that I wait for the ducklings and goslings to hatch so I may see these stellar parents at work showing us a thing or two about parenting.  

The other day, the husband & I went on a hike nearby – out on the rolling hills. Hearts a-flutter, toes a-flying, spirits a-singing, water-bottles a-swinging. We prattled on as we ascended the green hills bursting with wildflowers an all sides. The misty air was enhanced by the scents of eucalyptus and pine. The cows and calves grazing in the hillsides are always a joy to watch in spring time. As we neared one particularly narrow path in the trail, a large cow – or rather an extra-large cow obstructed our path. If I had been in the sub-Saharan areas of Africa instead of the lush green hills of California, I might’ve mistaken it for a hippopotamus. Gentle creature as it was, the husband and I exchanged quizzical looks and waited patiently. The poor animals seemed to have an itch and, having no other option, had scrambled up some steep hillsides to get to the fallen tree by the wayside and was scratching itself against the trunk. 

img_4302

We waited. The cow scratched.

We waited some more. The cow turned and scratched some more.

After some more minutes of this thrilling action, we decided to give the poor animal some space and started walking away the way we came. 

Had this not happened to us, I might never have believed. But within a few steps of us going in the opposite direction, the cow called out to us. As if to say, “I am almost done. You can come along now.” Some more quizzical looks later, we doubled back. Right enough, the cow turned to look at us, and then ambled away. Slowly on the path, body language saying- come along now, don’t be silly. Of course you can carry on in your little amble beside me.

One time, I remember, a cow calling out to her calf in unmistakable tones of warning as it came close to us. The calf, like most little ones, was curious to see what was happening. The mother gave a warning, and some time later, as more people ambled up the path, called out, “Come here!” – Not in English of course, but in Moo-in-ese, and the calf thought about ignoring her, but then acquiesced, and agreeably went back to its mother only to get a gentle reward of some suckling. 

The language of understanding is so marvelous to behold. The world in the spring-time is a place to soak in all these lessons with a beginners mind #Shoshin. 

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

Spring Yodelers

It was a beautiful spring day and the senses were rebelling against the small act of staying indoors. So, I took myself to the seat by the window and lifted the windows. A slight chill came in – like a little river of spring amidst the cozy indoor air. But along with that something else came in too – I call it Spring Yodeling and I smiled despite myself. There, in the park nearby, sat a man who couldn’t stop himself singing at the top of his voice – bass tones and high spirits make for an enjoyable combination. I’ve heard of bards mention ‘song bursting forth’ and have heard the robins bursting with song on a spring morning and all that, but witnessing it is a whole lot better. It was joyous to behold.

If I knew the song, I would’ve joined in – but alas I did not.

I might’ve written it off as exuberant spring spirits, if it weren’t for the fact that I got to listen to another yodeler the same day while on an evening walk. It was a cold day with a promise of the rain and the clouds scudding obligingly to make way for some rays of the setting sun. I was walking along a river bed, and on the opposite side was a yodeler, this time with a high pitch and a wobbly track, but spring yodeling nonetheless.

When two spring yodelers show you how it’s done, a little spring humming cannot be far behind can it? And so, it was, that the son and I hummed to a tune, (completely out of tune obviously but joy and music-correctness are two different things). Afterward, after several glances to ensure no human company was nearby and inviting honks from the geese, we yodeled too. It was out of tune, true, but joyous and glorious all the same. We even got a rainbow to peek out at us at the very end. That must count for something right?!

IMG_3920-COLLAGE

Of course, as I sat by the window ledge writing out this piece, I looked for suitable quotes and this one tickled my musical fancy:

“Blessed are those who yodel – for they shall never be troubled by offers of work.” 

Billy Connolly, Windswept & Interesting: My Autobiography

I threw my head back and laughed – yes, the hummers of that Spring evening shall not be troubled by offers of work in that department, and didn’t that make it all the more enjoyable?

%d bloggers like this: