The Stop and Start of Spring (and these Times)

Spring comes slowly here. Days of spitting snow flurries and chill winds predominate. This makes the moments of sun and warm feel very precious. My heart sings when the pussy willows arrive or an early spring Flower rises up through nearly frozen ground.

The stop and start quality of Spring serves me, much as I don’t like it. When we have a rare string of moderate Spring days, I get a little carried away, wanting to pull up every last clump of crab grass in acres of flower beds. I act as if all garden tasks must be addressed on the first day the earth is thawed. Fortunately the fluctuations in the weather mean I can usually do only a bit of weeding then I must wait for another thaw (and rest, which is usually always needed).

I can’t prune all the fruit trees at once either because, most days it’s bitter cold up in the their branches. Arctic wind on the ground only feels worse when ten feet off the ground. I must prune one tree at a time when the conditions are kind and I can hold the clippers without my mittened hands freezing. This slow pace is fine for the trees. It’s just me that is impatient. Right now I have one tree left, a Paula Red apple down where the new beehives settled in last summer. The tree is perfectly content to wait for the next warmish moment.

If I lived in Bermuda perhaps it would be the heat of summer that would stop my garden roll and get me to rest. Here it is the extremes of weather that are my built in braking system. Like today. I went out and weeded the asparagus then sifted a load of compost then put a fresh layer of this lovely rich soil on the whole bed. A stiff wind encouraged me to conclude that was enough.

This year of constraint has been like a northern new England Spring. My tendency to push has been reined in. What I would really like right now is the freedom to do A LOT of everything I want to do in a sea of possibilities. I guess we all want that. But life has other plans for us right now. I don’t know why, and I don’t know for how long. But like northern New England Springs, I am trying to accept the tempo of this time and enjoy the windows of sunlight and warmth. In other words, I’m trying to be more patient, more able to go with the flow, less likely to push the river.

Some days go better than others! How about for you?