Anthropologist Franz Boas famously said of Inuit languages that there were dozens of words for snow ... walking Puck and Miles in the woods near our house at this time of year I enjoy at least that many 'flavors' of green.
Strong dark greens, in moss and leaf and needle,
speak of life ... islands of vitality connected by networks of twigs and roots.
Waxy, reflective greens, to marshal or shed water,
wink and blink at us as we wander the woods, sharing light I'd have sworn wasn't there.
The gentle greens though, delicate and light and tentative newcomers in my woods,
those are the ones I love best... balsam above the rest.
Frost said that her first green is gold,
new dreams birthed from last year's tips,
reaching out for sun and space,
to tickle us on newly narrowed paths.
Softly yielding to my touch,
unlike last year's needles,
pale and fragile, bursting with life.
The future of each tree, of the world, is in this new growth,
part promise, part hope, part risk taken without choice.
We should all reach out with new growth each spring,
stretching and hoping and putting forth new dreams.
Last year's growth is fine, it feeds us,
but our best magic is in what's new, what's next, what's now.
I pinch off a tender twig of newly minted needles and pop it in my mouth,
soft and nascent needles, a woodland treat served al dente, not quite crunching between my teeth,
a bitter flash, sharp and resinous,
bringing first grimace, then grin.
The dogs are too polite to say anything at any foolishness of mine in the woods,
but the looks they exchange speak volumes ...
we finish our walk,
them thinking of breakfast,
me pondering new growth I could add this year.
JS - 6/10/2015