The ‘Sugar’ Moon has shown her beautiful face in the night sky and thus, signalled to all life on the land that Spring is here. I have seen the signs and heard the sounds of the new season where much life will begin afresh. I have observed lazy porcupines roosting/roasting on the leafless branches of the elms, lapping up rays of sunshine. The cardinal (not the Vatican type) has cleared his throat and is practicing his mating songs. The moments of daylight are extending further now into territories recently vacated by the darkness of night, causing some of the insects to stir out of their slumber. The smell of spring is faint but Ayaaho it is there.
Winter is gone, but it did not hobble away under the pain of arthritic joints, nor was it feeble because of its old age. It kept its vigour and power throughout its life. Any season will receive our offerings of prayers and tobacco with a vigour which never diminishes. Not one day of a season is more important than are any of the other days which come and go throughout the life of the season. Each day will bring life and each day will bring death.
I don’t know for sure why, but this winter has been a long one for me and I will be happy when the temperature stays above zero at night. It’s a first, I usually take whatever winter throws at me with all the dignity I can muster and with patience and understanding. “Give’r all you want, I’ll not cry for mercy,” is what I say, even when the most terrible of winter storms has me homebound.
This year though, I longed for spring. A good possibility for me feeling the way I did is the fact that I will give up my weekly visits to Millhaven prison at the end of March. It was getting a bit too much – two and a half years. And me with chronic back pain. I’ll miss working with the inmates, but I won’t miss the long drives between Ottawa and Kingston on snowbound roads. It took me 3 hours and 45 minutes to make the trip once. On a good day I make it in 2 hours 15 minutes.
The boys at the prison would prefer I stay on but they want the best for me as I do for them. A month won’t pass that I’ll not see them. I’ll still go at least two days a month to oversee the Harmony Circle I initiated at the prison. I’m looking forward to that but I feel I served my time and deserve to be set free.