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The early spring window that delights me so much every year slammed shut this week with the arrival of those most unwelcome of guests – the black flies.

And they really like me, always have.

Black flies don’t bite, they suck! So goes the old joke.

Because of these tiny hungry pests, I’ve quickened my steps on our recent evening walks, which can still be so thoroughly enjoyed for their exquisite, kinda-feels-like-summer stillness, and for the salmon colored brush that washes over the sky.

I was so thrilled to hear my first hermit thrush of the year this week, too, with its otherworldly trilling echoing through the woods. And we finally spotted a pair of loons on the pond, and I watched them through my binoculars diving for fish again and again as we swatted at the bugs.

And wow, did it get hot this week. In the 80s with hot dry sun. The high fire danger was finally quenched this weekend with some much needed rain, and the green that was just beginning to bud out is now exploding vibrantly into view.

Everything is always arriving – black flies, birds, leaves, rain, sun – and though my personal clock says, ‘Okay, no thanks on the black flies, and I’ll take the rain at night and sun during the day, please,’ nature gives no damn about that. It just shows up precisely on time, all the time.

I’m trying to be a little more like that, too – showing up precisely on time for everything. And I don’t mean being punctual (although that matters a lot to me, too). I mean in the sense of being present to what’s happening – being reflective rather than reactive. I keep remembering, again and again, to practice zooming out at the beauty of the whole scene, rather than in on each annoyance that distracts me from the larger view.

And I’ll be getting lots of practice as the mosquitos arrive… and that means the dragonflies and bats will soon be doing their zigging and zagging across that same peachy sunset sky looking for their supper.