The Indian bearing the load of the heavens in the pack on his back is best known as the Big Dipper. This imaginary semblance has achieved its highest point for the year, circling across our heavens, forever doomed to seek that faraway campfire of the northern skies. The constellation becomes the celestial pivot point, a guide post from which we measure time.
If one is so inclined as to find this ever-fixed reference point, look due north, at any time of the year, for a faint star hanging in the heavenly black void, above the horizon. It shines in the north winter or summer, from wherever you might be. This is Polaris, but there is more. Using the lip of the dipper as a guide post, follow its handle as the world turns, and you will find more constellations drifting west each passing day.
And so, we welcome April’s arrival, with her favorite bluebird perched upon her shoulder, a fresh bouquet of flowers in hand, birdsong filling the air, the perfume of millions of newly opened wild violets arising amid the fields and winter-trapped flowers emerging from their seasonal bondage to take their places in the adventure of life.
Within the week, our winter dormant fig tree that claims its space on the lawn beside the garden gate has unfolded new life and leaf from dark nubs to the size of a quarter, and at the rate they are growing they should attain the size of dollar bills by next week. The earth grows warm. Spring is at hand.