Go to the Swamp
“If you are afflicted with melancholy at this season, go to the swamp and see the brave spears of skunk cabbage buds already advanced toward a New Year.”
– Henry David Thoreau, 1857
I walk to the swampy margin of a nearby stream every March. It’s still cold. Still brown and gray. But I know that I will find there the first blooms of the year. Tucked inside a cloak of mottled maroon and green the tiny yellow-green flowers hide. The first waking insects will find them on warmer days than this; they, too, heartened by the promise of a new season.