Although I returned to Dublin on May 26th, three weeks after my initial departure, it took me a week to settle in, get organized, and recalibrate.
Perhaps the best way to celebrate the extraordinary proliferation of biomass in the month of May is to juxtapose some photographs. Check out these before and afters:
While traveling West I observed the pace of Spring in different regions of the country. But my only real marker for contrasting the changes (after all, I was just passing through) is my home place in the Monadnock Region of Southwest New Hampshire.
The vastness of the North American continent is extraordinary. And despite globalization, interdependence, and the Internet, the variety of landscapes and habitats (though surely not what it once was) is remarkable and inspiring. I enjoyed every landscape. I never tired of observing the scenery. In the Midwest, on my bicycle and from the car I observed the intimacy and diverse topography of what at first glance seems relatively flat. There are rolling hills, rises and bends, watercourses and levees, glacial marks, sand dunes, and all manner of geomorphological intricacies. And when the landscape is inescapably flat you have the everchanging and enchanting great sky. Every region has it's unique beauty and there is so much more to discover. The Mountain West is dynamic and daunting. There was way too much for me to take in. The daily bicycle rides literally grounded me in a discipline of sensory awareness, taking the landscape in at a reasonable pace and scale.
And the I fly home in one fell swoop, on a night flight from San Francisco to Boston. I peeked out the window just a few minutes before landing, but other than those brief glimpses of Eastern Massachusetts I saw nothing. What a contrast. We sacrifice way too much in our worship of speed.
I am glad to be in one place for awhile. I am savouring the slower pace of watching the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer.