The gravel was loose and the slope steep and rutted. El Fantasma had picked his way down a ridge in Ecuador’s southern Andes and dropped into a fertile valley a few minutes earlier. I let his engine idle down as Edie and I took in gorgeous views borne of seasonal changes. Verdant green flora spilled forth everywhere, nurtured by fresh rains. We were more than two miles above sea level and the brisk winds were rocking our truck. Edie offered me a swig of fresh brewed Lojano café from our thermos, distracting me from the penetrating chill that had begun to demand my attention.
Spring, oh glorious Spring, has come to the Andes. I’ve been noticing buds and some flowers on pear, peach and plum trees. There’s some additional chirping in a birds nest near the bedroom window of my country home. Another few thousand feet of elevation slow down the advances of change but it’s relentless and it’s the season of new birth and re-birth in the mountains.
Already, small yet vibrantly colored yellow flowers dot the landscape. Andean Lapwings mine a nearby pasture for fresh worms, driven from their homes by the seasons abundance of rainfall. I watch as one of the Lapwings downs a sizable squirming snack. The season provides a cornucopia of fresh food for all creatures.
The green pastures offer rich fare to a new mother ewe. She needs it for milk production as her lambkin, a ram lamb, suckles hungrily at his every chance. The fresh knot of his umbilical cord signals a life that has just begun. A spring shower settles the dust of the road as the mother looks patiently at me. I’ve been standing nearby observing her and her latest charge.
In a moment, it’s done. I towel the rain off my camera with a microfiber cloth, returning it to my small bag. Pausing, I look up. Edie’s across the way making her own photographs. I know she’s soaking up all the fresh beginnings herself.
I hope you’ll pause just a second yourself, to take in some newness right about now. It is the season for it after all. And, who can’t benefit from refreshed perspectives and find strength in the season to explore new ways. My life’s short, I’m taking in all the newness and all the goodness I can. Renewal is a wonderful process to experience. These are my verities that I share.