Published on February 24th, 2015 | by Jeff Libby


Luminous green early Spring

Already birds are courting. The camellias out. Crocuses wide open. Now and soon. Spring. Just yesterday the sun leaked all afternoon like a blue field into our back yard.tacoma spring 3

We sat in the red plastic chairs for the first time in months, had whisky and sodas after a lunch of comfort soup.

What to do? How to meet spring this year, again practically here, a month soon?

We took a road trip in spring. It stretched from three weeks into three months.

We weren’t married. We had no cat, no reason to come home.The economy was flat lined. We could still insist with some truth that we were young. Not worried. It was before smart phones. We drove back roads. Even Texas was beautiful. All the bluebells were out. They lit the crabby empty desert all the way to Marfa.

Maybe the roadtrip had nothing to do with a response to spring. More likely it was lucky coincidence. Like the new fence we’ll build in a week or two to replace the old dying soggy one. That, too, someone might say, is just happening with spring, not because, not to.

My friend George is waiting. In another couple weeks, he’ll crank in his RV awning, drop the jacks, hitch ball to truck, head off to the woods to fish. In spring. He is waiting for it.tacoma spring 8

An old man, spry and calm in the same old clothes. He measures his vitality against the recliner he sits in – who rocks which. His late wife’s china angels and rabbits watch over the house, no one to watch over them.

Out back, in the fields, the chicken houses are dead stacked with old wood from dismantled buildings next to fresh cut cedar, stickered and drying with a box fan going.

The trees too have waited, since fall, for spring. Soon sap will be running vertical again, xylem and phloem, feeding a new belt of early wood. The new spring fir is lighter than in summer. It comes on tacoma spring 6faster and brighter. Just as the new needles and leaves will be brighter, a luminous green.

Maybe there is no way to be ready. No way to prepare. Even if, in an upper story downtown office, someone is mapping out contingencies and futures on a whiteboard. It’s innervating, no doubt, being a weather person, predicting which way the wind will blow before it blows.

They say to get there at all, you must map it first – your lifetime, your goals – in a handful of bullet points.

I have a dream of a bigger workshop. It has a flat, level floor, shaped from a monolithic concrete pour polished smooth, every six-hundred pound machine able to be an Oksana Bauil across it.

I dream in winter of an endless pole barn, bay after bay, stacked with a library of wood so voluminous it needs an heir.

I dream as though I couldn’t, on my own, sketch in the approximate boundaries of this, my one run on this ground. But maybe it is good to be insatiable, to thirst, to imagine the runs that will come after our own has ended, to want to draw more sustenance from the ground, nurture something that will continue to flow.

In winter, even mild ones, we fast a little and we dream. It’s winter, really, that is the beginning. Spring is the return, the follow through, the arrival of responsibilities. The digging, the getting back, the making it real again. And it will be enough. It will be a feast.

Almost here, time to get already running.


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About the Author

Jeff Libby is an architectural designer and furniture maker. He hunts forests in the hides of old wood and enjoys sounding out the tectonic daydreams of bricks. Currently he is at work on his first batch of switchel for the season.

One Response to Luminous green early Spring

  1. Pingback: In Early Spring Begin Responsibilities | around back, at birdloft

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