Sunday, April 6, 2014

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 6 April

Spring is all about the birds and bees

Good Morning Jacob…

It all seems to happen at once.  Sure there are some trees that blossom early like the Bradford Pear and some birds that get an early start on housekeeping like maybe the robins but, on the whole, spring waits till April to bloom.  Nearly every tree in the area has leafed-out over the course of this week.  Various insects are taking wing and the ants are digging out from their winter haven underground.  Large black carpenter bees are busy buzzing amidst the blossoms of the Bradford Pear, which are now rapidly losing their petals, having precociously first come to bloom during the early days of March.  Over the past few days it has been the turn of the dogwood to flower forth.  Other trees of the forest must also be in blossom right now as a fine yellow film of pollen is beginning to coat all the cars of the neighborhood that sit outside.  This flurry of airborne pollen will steadily build in intensity, aggravating the sales manager of Classic Chevrolet and other dealerships in the area as their gleaming new cars are transformed into the look of musty items that have set neglected on the shelf too long.  It means good employment for lot boys over the next few weeks as they start fresh each morning washing down all those rows of car to return them to their dazzling, spanking fresh, gleaming new car look. 

Of course, if you have an allergy to all this pollen you needn’t look outside to know that the air is congested with the cause of your annual sinus misery.  Isn’t this a fine howdy do, you must be saying, as the Earth once again reawakens from winter hibernation – your eyes watering, your head choking in all this grand celebration of sex among the foliage.  April becomes a rousing, stiff 5 a.m. for all the flowery stamen of male plants in the forest.  Why can’t they just leave it to the bees to deliver the goods?

Speaking of bees, I am surprised at the number of carpenter bees I have already seen crapped-out dead about the ground from overwork.  Clearly there are too few of them to handle the load right now.  I’m sure the queen is feeling the heat, as well, spending long exhausting hours laying eggs one after another.  There is no more demanding task master than Mother Nature.  I kid you not.  The enterprise that is life makes for a very stressful industrial environment.  Think about it.  From our relatively coddled human status as being top dog over the animal kingdom we can afford our Olympian view of nature as being a pastoral nursery, filled with life-rendering bounty.  Look about you more closely and you see all the animals, great and small, involved in a day to day struggle for survival.  Every creature is locked in competition for the basic necessities of life.  They are ever wary because a moment’s inattention may quickly result in being someone else’s meal.  Your fatal error was to become too absorbed in the sensual pleasure of feeding or napping or whatever it is that makes life special for you and not just an endless grinding process.  Your last vision of this world is that of your killer’s eyes registering its cold starring satisfaction at once again being able to momentarily curb its insistent hunger.  Make yourself over into an animal with four legs and fur or one with feathers and wings and you soon come to realize you survive by using your wits, surrounded and bedeviled by other equally cunning animals, ruthless addicts, driven by the fiercest of all instincts, that of survival.   

A brilliant cardinal makes its presence known perched on a limb near to where I am enjoying my first fresh brewed cup of coffee.  How wonderful is its merry song of greeting to the morning sun.  That’s what I’m thinking as I marmalade my biscuit.  In fact, the fellow over there in his red plumage is doing his earnest best to warn intruders not to steal from his family’s farm.  While the wife tends to the nest this home-owner actually spends considerable time squabbling with other male cardinals over property rights.  This is raising your young without the rule of law.  There is no benefit of arbitration.  There is no court of appeal.  Stay young.  Be fit.  Be always healthy or lose wife, family and home.  Eviction is just one cramped muscle away.

But relax.  We’re human and its spring.  Flowers everywhere will soon be in bloom.


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