My Month of Written Devotion is for the Spirit of the Santa Clara Valley
Here in my Valley, the light and the water are rivals, and the plants and animals take sides.
The animals follow the light, traveling North or South, or taking to their burrows to hibernate through the dark times. They emerge to eat at Sunna’s cue.
The plants are guided by the waters, growing bright and green in the cool, wet winter and early spring, and fading to dry gold in the heat of summer.
Except the trees.
Like the animals, the trees take up Sunna’s cycle. When spring comes to my Lady, the fruit trees bloom first. They have a very particular order – crabapples before ornamental plums, apricots before peaches. The cherry tree in my yard blooms just after PantheaCon, echoing its siblings in what remains of their orchard down the street. The cherries come ripe just in time for the birds to steal them all while we’re away at BayCon.
I spend the spring wandering around, taking pictures of every flowering branch and stem I see, exclaiming at the new ducklings at the park, and trying not to hit the kamikaze adolescent squirrels with my car.
In wet years, spring is the later half of the rainy season, and by the time we get to May, the creeks are running bank-full much to the delight of the Willows. In dry years, what rain we do get is in the spring, making up for a cold, dry winter, barely bridging the gap before the summer fires spread across the grasslands, hopefully not to be taken up by the “well-hidden” living torches slowly overtaking the Oaks’ territory.
Perhaps one year out of three, even in drought, it rains at the end of May, and yet everyone is always so surprised to see the rainbows arching across the hills in the early summer light.
The coastal mountains are lined with evergreens that pull the fog over them like a cotton blanket every afternoon the year round. Their needles draw dewdrops out of thick air, feeding their roots below, sharing the bounty with grateful sorrels and ferns. Still, the wooly red bark of the towering sequoias is a testament to how little water they expect from the fog – redwood trees are fire resistant, even as their cones are pyrogenic, only sprouting seeds after the land has been scorched. We may forget the longer cycles of fire, flood, and drought, but the trees never will. It’s etched in their heartwood, one ring at a time.
There is no time of year I do not love my Lady, but I can not help but feel joy watching Her bloom as Ostara dances in Sunna’s light, spreading blushing colors across Her skin in every direction.
P.S. Read Lon’s “Light”! 😀