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,
open,
free.

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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