One spring following another - I've watched these two return to their familiar nesting ground and pond. He - spends his days tirelessly patrolling..keeping all predators at bay. She - sits hour after after day warming the eggs in their precious and precarious nest.

It's been a late-coming spring. Trees have been slow to color themselves green. Flowers have been even slower to blossom and bloom. We - persons - have taken a long time to shed our winter coats and skins.

The birds sing.

Oblivious to the cold..the wet..the inclement weather. Unaware that this spring's rhythm doesn't quite rhyme.

The birds sing.

They mate. They nest. They hatch babies. They're not waiting for the right time..the right place..the right moment. It's spring. They trust in their hearts. They trust in their internal compasses as guides.

A practice of returning. Season after season. Year after year.

They say that they mate for life. Through bountiful seasons or bare..through sickness or health..they love and they cherish 'til death do them part.

In the damp. In the grey. In the cold. Theses ugly little ducklings were - just today - hatched. They know nothing of late-coming springs. Only that they will grow..that they will love and mate..and that they - too - will someday hatch cygnets of their own.

The circle of life continues. On..and on.

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Cross-posted over at the Inspiration Studio - where I am a bi-weekly contributor writing about 'practice'.