The Big Story: Spring 2011

by Candace Caddick

There has been only one topic of conversation outside in the natural world these last few months. The birds have been singing about it, the squirrels are chattering it, and the tree roots have been drumming it through the soil. How can we be the only ones who have no idea of what is coming? I had to ask my cat what was going on and get the blank incomprehension of “you don’t know? How can you not know what is going to happen? Pet me.” So what is going to happen? I ask. “It’s the end/beginning.”

Every spring the trees wake up and the flowers and plants rise out of the soil. The baby animals and insects are born and life takes a great leap from sleepiness to aliveness. So what’s so different this year?

This is the year, the first in many, many millennia that the Earth herself is waking up.* Think of it like this, we humans have been riding in an ocean on the back of a sleeping whale. The whale wakes up and takes off, choosing her own path and making her own decisions. We hang on for the ride and try not to fall off.

How embarrassing is it to need to have my cat explain this to me? We humans are so disconnected from the rest of life.

*Planets asleep covered in Planet Earth Today.