The Rites of Spring

By Arthur Ives, Rowville, Victoria

The days lengthened and the warmth
of spring replaced the cold, blustery,
winter conditions. She marvelled at
life’s miracles. Chicks cheeped beside
their opened tombs, lambs frisked,
calves frolicked and foals staggered to
their feet. From the soil’s surface, bulbs,
plants and weeds in their millions
appeared. Her broad beans flowered,
formed and filled. This was her first
edible crop.
Life was on the march.
After daylight each morning, whatever
the weather, she would wander about
as if she were in the Garden of Eden.
Neither Adam nor Eve could have been
more conscious of the world’s wonder
than she.
Throughout her life she had watched,
fascinated, as the cycle of life unfolded
– from the first flirtations between the
sexes to the mating, from the mating to
the fulfillment of new birth, from new
birth to the nourishing, on and on. The
urge, imperative, instinctive, without
exception. The drive unconscionable –
the desire so overpowering that fights
to the death were common.
She needed to help found a new
generation. It was more than love. She
had to mother a child. All the calls for
great endeavours, even to see her
present dreams realised, shrank,
replaced by that goal.
It was time to marry her man.

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