A Burgeoning Spring

For days now the word “burgeoning” has been on my mind, like the refrain of a song I keep playing over and over in my head.

I looked it up to see if it was the correct word for what I have been sensing around me here in Baja California Sur.

The meaning of burgeon, “to bud, to sprout,” definitely fits, but I sense something more. Is there another term to express a gathering of organic energy, a potential for newness?

If “earth laughs in flowers,” as Emerson said, the type of burgeoning I’m noticing is like the very beginning of a chuckle, deep in the throat.

New shoots and almost-open buds are as indicative to me of spring’s vigor as are full, showy blossoms.

The nopal (prickly pear cactus) pictured above appears to be blooming at first glance.  But it’s actually putting out a new penca, a fleshy new leaf pad like the one in the photo below:

nopal, new “penca”

I can almost feel the power in the following coastal agave just beginning its bloom:

young agave stalk will soon bloom

This one is bursting into decadent bloom, beginning with the bottom limbs of its towering flower stalk:

agave blooming from bottom up

I can’t see this beauty without being reminded, though, of this agave’s life cycle. It flowers only once and dies, leading to a skeleton:

agave skeleton, upright

The opening lines from one of Dylan Thomas’ poems illustrate a similar duality:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.

I’m not being morbid or melancholy in noting the end of the cycle even as I notice its beginning–indeed, its quickening–here in early spring;  I’m only reminding myself that mortality gives each moment meaning.

Noticing this precious now seems to me to be a form of praise.

[For a close look at a coastal agave bloom and a xantus hummingbird, another Baja native, please go to the About Practicing Wonder page, shown at the top right, or click  here https://practicingwonder.com/about/  .]

Writing Practice:

What around you seems to be gathering force for spring?

What reminds you of life cycles?

4 thoughts on “A Burgeoning Spring

  1. It is interesting how changes in seasons stir our core understanding of our mortality. I am reminded of Hopkins poem To Margaret. He tells her he notices that the leaves falling brings a sadness where upon he ends by saying as an adult she will realize it is her passing she was grieving. I did not agree when I was young. I loved harvest and celebrated full circle of winter making room for new life. I still embrace that. But I am feeling a sadness that I will miss spring someday after my deepest winter. Yet it makes bee sounds and dancing flowers beyond price now. I savor my life in a deep way. Linda

    • I so love your thoughtful comments! I ran across this quote recently by George Santayana: To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.

      It seems unrealistic to me to expect our lives to be full of only the highs I equate with spring; life is somehow sweeter to me appreciated for its full cycles.


  2. thank you Chris for giving me the gift of reliving all the beauty and magic of Baja, now that I am getting your blogs I am looking forward to many more stories that will help me slow down and live in the moment and to just enjoy all the thoughts that you share so beautifully.

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