During a recent week, on my morning commute to work, I saw the following: a small pod of dolphins, two marsh tacky horses, three bald eagles, four osprey nests, dozens of squirrels, and there was probably a partridge in a pear tree somewhere.
And that was just in one week.
Living in the Lowcountry, we are blessed with a bounty of nature to behold.
In addition to the critters along my way, I also cross the Intracoastal Waterway daily. I inhale deeply to catch the acrid and earthy aroma of pluff mud.
I admire the majestic live oaks draped in Spanish moss and the plentiful palmetto trees, their fronds often waving gently in the breeze.
Most evenings, there is a magnificent sunset searing across the sky – a brilliantly colored skyscape to top off even the worst day on a happy note.
We are gifted with the pristine May River as well as the mighty Atlantic Ocean, along with numerous creeks, coves and tributaries.
We have acres and acres set aside as green space and wildlife preserves, where we can find deer, thousands of birds in rookeries, wild rabbits, raccoons – even snakes and armadillos.
And now, although our weather has been unseasonably warm and pleasant for months, spring is almost here officially.
As I have said so many times before, generally in this space, at this same time each year, I love spring. There is something so refreshing about seeing tiny buds on shrubs and flowering trees, smelling the sweet scent of lemon tree blossoms, hearing the sound of baby birds chirping.
I especially love the colors of spring. I am energized by the blazing glory of hot pink azaleas.
The pinks and white of dogwood trees is soothing to the eye and the mind. The sky seems bluer, the marsh grass greener (especially just before dusk).
Heck, I don’t even mind the bright yellow layer of pollen on my car.
Renewal and rebirth are everywhere we go, and we’ll see it if we pay attention.It’s inspiring, to say the least.
This spring is shaping up to be particularly beautiful, I think, because I am noticing something I haven’t seen before.
In areas where Hurricane Matthew knocked over so many trees, where he bent and twisted them from their roots so badly that they had to be cut down with only their stumps remaining, I see sprouts of new green leaves bursting forth.
At the base of stump after stump, new life is springing up, showing its vibrancy and its strength.
It’s almost as if a new forest was hiding just below the surface, waiting for just the right time to announce itself.
Nature is taking care of herself, repairing and revitalizing, like we knew she would.
A scant five months after Matthew roared through our lives and destroyed so much, nature is rebounding with a fierce determination.
I take this as a sign that, though our landscape and our surroundings have changed drastically, things will be good again.
How inspiring is that?