Green miracles

From the top of the hill where Day Street crests, the view ahead was lush and green. Old trees and new trees arched up and over the narrow street, nearly coming together as a canopy over the steep and bumpy pavement. Through this channel, peering through and over this leafy tunnel, you could see the bluffs rising at the north edge of town, another vision of green blossoms and leaves and filling in all visible space between tree trunks and overlapping branches.

In winter, the bare-bones trees are transparent. You can peer through the branches at the top of Day Street and see the whole town below. And the bluffs look rugged and stony, and especially beautiful when coated in snow. The burnished leaves of autumn are also beautiful, driving down the street and looking ahead to the hills rising, red and gold and orange, for the short weeks between the first twinge of color and the dead dropping of crunchy leaves at the end of their life-cycle. And in summer, the leaves dry out in drought and perk up in rain, and the blowing of summer storms knocks leaves and blossoms alike to the ground; the trees mimic our human bodies, languishing under the heat and sighing with satisfaction at every cool breeze.

But spring is when the trees stand their ground, speak their peace, take charge. There is no seeing past them, no ignoring nature for the view beyond. Everything is green, the thickest, heaviest, most drenched green you can imagine. In the bowl of the valley, the hills and bluffs embrace you, suffocate you, with all things green and growing. Your only sight, whoever you turn, is the vision of rebirth rising up around you.

But how easy it is, of course, to take such things for granted. How easy it is to walk and drive our usual paths, along the floor of the low grounds, and never think to care about the leaves hanging overhead. How lucky, or providential, to end up at the top of Day Street, off the usual path, that I might notice the wall of green, the world awash with resurrection.

Is it not a miracle that the world comes to life again and again, after the first storms of spring have made the earth spongy, have made the grass grow at an alarming rate, have caused pollen counts to rise and the farmer's market to overflow with good things? Is it not a miracle that each leaf, like a snowflake, has its own individual veins and edges, its own particular shades of green and yellow, its own special thumbprint? Is it not a miracle that things grow from the earth, that everything we bury eventually rises up again?

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