“It almost speaks to you.” (Emily Dickinson)

first frog

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

You bend to pry a likely rock from the moss for the base of the greenhouse you are helping to build and there’s sudden movement, a leap.

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

A single purple crocus in the moss. Chrome-yellow dandelion. Russet-breasted robins standing on the cedar boxes in the garden, listening.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Single long whistle of varied thrush, soft mewing in the crabapple that you know, without looking up from your rocks, is a pair of sapsuckers, drumming in the woods as the ruffled grouse compresses air beneath his wing and hopes for a mate. Go ahead, tap a stick on a garden post and see what happens.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

That was yesterday—and this morning? Still that light.

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

Not loss, not yet, not while the daffodil leaves gleam in sunlight, tiny groves of snowdrops and crocuses bloom under old twigs, and the tree frog finds its way to the pool you have made of an old bathtub, its pots of rushes green, its marsh marigolds unfolding.

The poem is Emily Dickinson’s. The little frog is the season’s first Pacific tree frog.

6 thoughts on ““It almost speaks to you.” (Emily Dickinson)”

  1. Ah, I miss snowdrops and crocuses! Thinking of them takes me back to childhood. Spotting the first snowdrop of the season in the yard of our next door neighbour. I loved to be alone then, just discovering.

  2. We love looking for the first Signs of Spring at our house. It is a wonderful family tradition that started when our oldest was very little and everything she pointed out on our walks was a “signa sping!”

  3. bravo on actually sighting the little guy! A friend up island tells me they’ve been serenading all last week. I’m still waiting. I think it’s been much too cold here these past weeks. Soon enough they should make an appearance.

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