I’m looking at green so intense it almost hurts the eyes. It is so green you can hear it. The frog and toad chorus has begun today. Spring woods after rainstorm is exactly the time and place to send out mating calls. I could sit here all day, taking it in.

It is like sitting for hours at a time, a few days this week, holding my baby grandson while he slept. Sometimes I propped up my iPad and read but often I just sat and rocked. Being a baby bed. My excuse was that he sleeps better and longer if you hold him than if you put him down. If he starts to squirm, you pat him back to sleep. But the real reason is the sensuous, loving pleasure of holding that baby.

I am not a baby person, normally. But there is something about a baby of the family that requires me to pass on love. Holding a sleeping grandbaby is a promise that I will always love him, that I will be there for him as long as I live. That’s what the grandma hormones are about. Holding your grandchild is as direct an experience of the great chain of being as you can get, tying your mortal self to the earth and living beings. It is like setting a house down in the middle of a woods and participating every year in the swing of seasons, the unfolding of spring after a long, hard winter, the return of birds, the succession of blooms.

Do we need to do anything other than this? Yes, of course we do. I can’t, after all, sit here all day on the porch, watching and listening to spring. Likewise, my arms get tired after hours of holding an infant and, truthfully, I can get a little bored. But these experiences are reminders of what we are, earthly living creatures. They stop us on the busy track of our useful lives (all good, all good) and remind us to take pleasure in being alive. It won’t last. We won’t last. But that makes it all the sweeter.

A hummingbird peers in at me, wondering where the nectar is this year? I interrupt my writing to scramble around, trying to remember where I stored the feeder. I find it, scrub it clean, fill it with sweetness for the birds.

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