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The Hawk's Nest

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The Hawk's Nest

Spring blossoming: shedding winter's layers

The wild canary is starting to remove his dusky, greeny-yellow-brown winter coat and is dressing in his bright Easter yellow finery. He is putting on his black summer cap and is stepping out into spring.

I have a fond memory of walking along the river behind our house with my mom in the spring,

“Look little wild canary is back, it must be spring,” she would say with excitement. Later I learned, but didn’t have the heart to tell her, little wild canary never left, he just changed for winter, and he isn’t a canary but an American Goldfinch.

Soon the vivid color of little wild canary will also start to appear in gardens along with vibrant hues of other shades. Gardens that are both cultivated and uncultivated.

The energy of the new blossoms each year vigorously expand upward and outward giving us brilliance, fragrances and textures that reach deep into our consciousness. As the plants awaken from their inward contemplation of the winter months, so do we.

It is in the spring when, without thinking about it, the draw of adventure pulls at us. Even some of us at a supposed mature age will, with innocence and with enthusiasm, get drawn into the quest and journey of life. There is a tug at our hearts to be outside enjoying the fresh air with activities ranging from sitting and contemplating to hiking and camping.  

The generative energy that comes from the reflective wintertime begins to express itself as changes in how we present ourself—how we are energetically and physically present in this new season. How we show up in this season of growth and expansion, with intention.

The snowshoe hare changes from white to an earthy umber, and the ermine changes from a white to a rich chocolate brown. These color changes protect them by connecting them to their surroundings. We too change our clothes. For us the freedom from shedding our protective winter layers allows a more open, expansive relationship with the world around us.  We are no different from the plants as they break out of their structures with new blossoms. 

As we watch and learn from the buds, the birds and the animals, we support the enthusiasm and spontaneity in our true self. Even though we may feel chaotic and at the edge of comfort it is our opportunity to be open, to get back to the cycles of life that prepare us for the future, another chance to break the structures of limiting or fear-based thinking.

It may feel, at times, it cannot be done with intention. Yet our intention is to be all we came here to be and anything less is limiting to the point of paralysis.

So, when we watch the birds, their activities might seem to be chaotic, unfocused, without direction. At times, we may identify with them and want to contain our enthusiasm, maybe even harness it. It is a time to recognize chaos often precedes creative insight. On those occasions, we take the time to look at the plants building steadily, expanding a little more each day, but still, it is more each day. In other words, “stop and smell the roses.’

Unlike the transformations we see so vigorously evolving in the vegetation and animals, our transformation may not be as visible to others—or even ourself.  Like the transformation in nature, it is incremental, small steps of awareness. However, sometimes there will be an enlightening insight that feels like a leap, and may take a leap to fulfill. Those leaps are happening in creation around us, it must or it will die.  And, that leap is what creation is bidding us to do, to understand that intention and grow out of our limiting emotional structures.

The little wild canary’s summer expression of himself, with his new black cap, is reminding us to let our brightest expression step out into spring.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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editorial, spring

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