Sometimes on a Mountain in April: A Poem in Photos

You can’t really see it in this photo, but on top of the wind blowing my hair all over, I am pretty much covered in mud. 

Hiking in the Adirondacks in April is a messy proposition sometimes, but so, so worth it.  There is something about the switching seasons, the in-between-ness, that always brings me down the mountain a little bit changed. My words and photos don’t really do it justice, but I decided to try…

Sometimes, on a mountain in April,
winter hides in caves.

…and clings to warm stone
while spring whispers green promises
in the sun.

Sometimes, on a mountain in April
the rocks are so slippery
you have to slow down
and this is good.
It’s when you’ll notice
a quiet curtain of moss
that drips with melting snow.

It’s when you’ll hear the rush
of streams,
swooping up tired old leaves
carrying them off
in dizzy laughter
to somewhere warmer,

Sometimes, on a mountain in April,
you’ll slide down slippery rocks
and land in mud.
It’s okay.
You’ll remember
how black and rich and squishy
and beautiful mountain mud can be.
Don’t get up right away.
Dig your fingers in,
and breathe.

Sometimes, on a mountain in April,
if you pause close to the summit,
a butterfly will fly so close
you hear the sound of its wings.
And if you keep listening,
though the butterfly flutters on,
you’ll hear quieter things still.

Snow melting on faraway hills,
Insects blinking awake.
Tender ferns unfolding in the sun,

And answers
to questions
You didn’t even know you had.

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36 Replies on “Sometimes on a Mountain in April: A Poem in Photos

  1. Even with out the pictures I had such a clear picture because I used to hike in the Whites when I lived in NH. There is nothing like spring hiking! The pictures are beautiful and really add to the poetry.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. That was absolutely beautiful, “quieter things still.”
    and “answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.”
    Love the photos too.

  3. Lovely! I spent a lot of time in the woods at my grandparents’ this weekend, and it’s an amazing time of year. We were tripping over loveliness everywhere.

  4. You should use that first picture as your livejournal pic. You look gorgeous and twelve and…one with the universe. Just beautiful and it made me smile.

    Gorgeous shots and writing. Best,


  5. Nice.
    I really like the contrast of the rushing water with the need to slow down and the line “you’ll hear quieter things still”. The bubbling water picture is quite fun.

    Happy Spring!

  6. Of course! One of the best things about this mountain is that it’s big & spread out – there were at least two other parties hiking that we only saw briefly – plenty of space!