Lesley Irene Shore

Lesley Irene Shore

Signs of Spring

February 27, 2012

I awaken to a sign of spring.

Looking into the day through the bathroom window, my eyes get drawn to a fiery red area highlighted against an otherwise drab landscape.  Focusing on the color, which sits on a barren branch nearby, I identify the outline of a bird, its crimson chest blazing out into the early light.

At first I think, “ah a robin red breast.” But as my morning eyes focus, I see that the crimson color covers more of the bird’s body than just its chest.  And as I continue staring at what feels like a mirage, I recognize the bird — a cardinal. 

After making the bed, dressing, and completing a few kitchen chores, I go outside and begin walking toward Harmony Center. A bird’s clear “tweet, tweet … tweet,tweet … tweet,tweet” floats atop the morning’s stillness.  I reply, “tweet, tweet … tweet, tweet … tweet, tweet.”

Arriving in the building, I move toward a large expanse of glass.  Facing east, I see brilliant sunlight streaming through trees and realize how much the angle of the sun has changed.  No longer low on the horizon, the sun’s position is now higher and further east – moving toward spring.

Finishing my morning ritual that includes giving thanks for the day, some chi gong, a little yoga, and additional stretching, I feel hunger stirring in my belly.  Ready for breakfast, I head toward the barn, and then wander into the chicken coup.  Reaching into a nest, my hand encounters a warm oval gift — a freshly laid egg.  Thanks to longer daylight, the hens are laying again. 

As I continue down the driveway to retrieve the newspaper, my ears pick up sounds of birds chirping their welcome to the day.  Looking towards the stream bed, my eyes recognize skunk cabbage shoots beginning to poke above ground.

Arriving at the mailbox by the side of the road, I watch cars whizzing by, their drivers seemingly oblivious to the signs of spring all around them.

Appreciating my good fortune, I count this morning’s blessings – cardinal, sunlight, birdsong, skunk cabbage, and a freshly laid egg.  Ah, signs of Spring!


  1. Sharon Bauer

    Thank you for sharing your signs of spring! I feel as if I were walking along with you. Here in Watertown, a bit warmer, the first species crocuses are blooming and we’re hearing red-winged blackbirds along the river. Snowdrops and hellebores have been blooming since late January . . . beautiful but disorienting, as normally all of these harbingers come about a month later.

    • Lesley Irene Shore

      Lovely to hear from you, Sharon. Also to learn of what is already blooming in your garden. Yes, this unseasonably warm winter has been disconcerting. Extremes of weather – last winter’s mountains of snow and this winter’s dearth. Worrisome. What is happening with our Earth?

  2. Kate Barrett

    Such lovely observations, Lesley. Thank you for reminding us of what’s to come. Going inward in winter is essential, but I can’t help but be ecstatic about the coming spring!

    I started hearing a change in bird songs a couple of weeks ago in the mornings when I walked my dog. The titmice were first (as usual), then came the cardinals singing out their territories. Last weekend, the blackbirds began moving back in – huge flocks of Grackles and Redwing blackbirds congregating in the trees near the dormant fields of last year’s crops.

    • Lesley Irene Shore

      Thanks, Kate, for sharing your observations. I’m always in awe when people, such as yourself, can identify the birdsong. When listening to birds, I wish I could speak their language and wonder what they are saying.

  3. Melinda

    What a beautiful post, Lesley! Thank you and Harmony Center for the continual reminders to slow down and be present with the beautiful natural world.


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