Spring in Place in the San Lorenzo ValleyColumn: Julie Horner Editorial 

The Feral Nature of Spring in Place


By Julie Horner

I don’t recall noticing spring before. If it hadn’t been for the shelter-at-home, I’d have missed it as I always do, wracked with the commute, the blindly frenetic, the socially carefree. The way the early blossoms come in a rush of fragrant glory and then are gone, spent and done in only a few short weeks giving way to the next explosion of blooms; ceanothus, then roses, then honeysuckle (oh! The honeysuckle!), then more roses. Living a few walkable blocks from downtown Boulder Creek, I’ve measured the days on foot within a 3-mile confluence of safe-houses and essential businesses. My fancy new car, suddenly out of place and unnecessary in a paradigm where Silicon Valley simply no longer exists, sits sheathed in its dusty cloak of pollen and detritus, spider webs gossamer in the languid passing of days.

Never have I been so aware of birdsong; the lone note at dawn in a still world no longer familiar. This has been a gift of time suspended.

I stood in the early afternoon sun pressed as close as I could to the hum of a thicket of blackberries in full bloom. Bees born aloft on the spring warmth glinted through thorn and bramble probing as brisk lovers blossoms sweet, a’light then away to the next. Liquid with life the chorus touched the well, and the tears came easy and free.

Sorely missed casualties of a pandemic: the annual Do-It-Ourselves Festival, Brookdale Bluegrass, Strawberry Music Festival, Redwood Mountain Faire, Kate Wolf, High Sierra, Redwood Ramble, Father’s Day Bluegrass, Burning Man, the Good Old Fashioned, Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Fest, Hangtown, and more. We mourn as music lovers our much-anticipated fair weather “festival season.” It didn’t matter the increment allowed to linger or the hours it took to get there as long as we could taste the time, revel under summer stars, and lullaby to the throb and twang of late night jams rattling the earth beneath dancing feet. There is no way to express the depth of gratitude for yesterday’s memories…or explain the yearning and sense of loss this year of all our favorite festival experiences.

On Memorial Day weekend I bought my first tank of gas since early March. I set my clock by the evening howl, welcomed new connections on social media, and gave grudging thanks to receive the government stimulus check. Together we tread these odd and wonderful times.

Welcome to the San Lorenzo Valley Post, an independent, local women-owned, community supported online news and event resource for the San Lorenzo Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Considered and curated content, balanced local reporting, robust community calendaring, dedicated information sharing. Co-founded by Julie Horner and Mary Andersen with support from a team of writers, editors, graphic designers, and community advocates in the Santa Cruz Mountains in collaboration with the people and organizations of the San Lorenzo Valley, we are “The Valley’s Voice.”

Photo by Julie Horner

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