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The Long Exhale as I Rise to Springs Beckoning

March 17th, 2018 by Michael Dyet

Spring morning

Hmmm, it is coming again and I am so very ready for it.

We are three days away from the first day of spring. Mother Nature does not necessarily observe these manmade official changeover days for the seasons. Winter will still hold court for the next couple of weeks and may sneak in a last gasp in early April. But my thoughts now turn to the coming season of winged wonders.

Early spring is waterfowl season. In a couple of weeks, I will make my first trip to the lakefront, after hibernating for the colder months, in anticipation of rafts of ducks and grebes feeding in the bays and along the shorelines.

Anticipation grows as I pull into the parking lot of Colonel Sam Smith Park. I feel the weight of winter beginning to lift from my shoulders as I gear up for the day with binoculars around my neck, field guide in my pocket and backpack on my back.

My itinerary for the day is inscribed in my brain by long practice. I am unapologetically a creature of habit. I have been visualizing this day and the route I will follow for several weeks. I will not vary my path because it is a ritual to which I am wedded.

I head down the paved trail observing Starlings, Red-winged Blackbirds and American Tree Sparrows in the thick bushes. Perhaps a Crow perched on a larger branch surveying the area or an early Cormorant gliding overhead.

A quick detour onto the observation deck of the shallow pond turns up puddle ducks – ubiquitous Mallards, ever present Gadwalls and perhaps a flat-billed Northern Shoveler or two – mingling with Canada Geese and Mute Swans in a communal habitat.

Back onto the pathway, I head toward the east bays as Tree Swallows dip and dive overhead welcoming me back. Chickadees flit through the trees with their distinctive springs-here breeding season call. Robins are moving about and Brown Creepers spiraling down branches.

I hear the distinctive yodeling call as the large bay comes into view and my anticipation quickens. There is nothing more reliable than what I am about to see. Elegant Red-necked Grebes floating in large rafts serenading me with the melody of spring.

And it happens. My breathing slows and my heart expands. I take a long deep breath, hold it briefly and exhale as my soul rises to the invitation.

Spring is here. I am in my element. Nothing else matters for the next few hours as I shake off the shackles of winter. Spring is ever my metaphor for rebirth, resurrection and the freeing of my soul to go forth once more where deep-rooted desire takes it.

This is who I am. The core of my being. My identity in its truest form. For the next few hours, I am as free as the winged wonders I observe.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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