Unseen forces



March and April are edge months, blurry parts of a few seasons, both leftover winter and flashes of spring. T.S Eliot got to this in The Waste Land:

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Early spring is a high time of unseen forces, which often make logical humans a bit nervous. But lucky for us, we all have a taste for magic. Magic is the interest and tolerance for the power of unseen forces which are always lingering around, especially in graveyards, caves and waterfalls. It spooks a lot of people, but there are ways to get more used to it. The weather of these border months offer opportunities to actually feel the unseen. I have a few suggestions.

Here in climate zone 6a, it’s easy to “force” or nudge some shrubs to bloom. My favorite is forsythia. Pussy willow cooperates, too. In March and April the branches are already fat and swollen with flowers buds. (I was even able to do this in January this year!) Just cut a branch nicely loaded with buds, plunk it in water and let it rest inside. It will bloom. While you are waiting for the unseen to appear, look up that poem Dylan Thomas wrote about this when he was 19 years old in 1933: The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.

On March 2, a few of us from the 3 Pines Nature Place in Warwick are going to the Sanfordville School for a morning of outdoor nature play near the Peace Wall Memorial. See that photo of us there on another a gusty March day with a big blue tarp and some rope? We made a very big sail that dragged several of us across a hillside, feeling and wrestling with the real, but invisible, forces of March winds. You can try it with us or on any good open hilly field.

Daniel Mack