Spring Respite for The Green Study

A canstockphoto5109847miracle finally happened in Minnesota. Spring arrived. I can’t focus. I spent time in the dirt yesterday. I scoped out my tulips, crocuses (crocii?) and daffodils, uncovered, after a long winter’s rest. It’s a week of endings and beginnings for me and as much as I think I should write or at least should want to write, I don’t. I want dirt under my nails, mud on my boots, stray leaves and grass in my hair. I want to stand up, straightening sore knees and legs after laboring over a plot of soil. I want to smell when the rain is coming and admire, once again, the hardiness and resilience of nature.

canstockphoto2064868A Northern Flicker captured my attention for the good part of an hour on Saturday. They’re the only woodpecker that walks along the ground to find food, hopping back and forth between ground and surrounding trees. Rabbits graze in the yard, delighted by the salad bar now revealed. Gnawed bushes and shrubs show evidence that they did what they needed to do to survive the deep snows.

canstockphoto6826957Black-capped chickadees are flitting in and out of the dried grape vines and robins are hopping about, gathering up their body weight in grass for nests in progress. Mallards are squawking loudly when neighborhood cats are in the proximity. The ducks have picked a nesting site near the drainage creek that has formed at the bottom of the yard.

It’s been too long. It’s taken us a few days to catch on that winter is gone. Pale and mole-like, people come outside, shading their eyes against the brilliant sunlight. We see neighbors that we haven’t seen in months. Everyone is a little pudgier. The melted snow has left vestiges of salt and sand everywhere. Children wobble haphazardly on bikes – a momentary lapse in memory. An old man roars by on a motorcycle, a declaration of resilience. He made it through another winter.

People have thrown themselves into a flurry of activity – yard work, roof fixing, car washing. They’ve spent months using their labor capital for shoveling and making vehicles run, walking recalcitrant dogs, who lifted paws in protestation of the bitter cold. The pent up energy needs to run its course before hammocks and lemonade and a need for shade.

I am taking the week off to take it all in. I can hardly make myself sit still or be in front of the computer. My winter-addled mind drags me out into the sunshine, unable to stay inside one minute longer. Spinach and green bean seeds to sow, patches of garden to till, soil samples to send…this is the world I dreamed of in January, while flipping morosely through my seed catalog. It’s finally here and I’m going outside to reacquaint myself with the light. Keep well, my friends.

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37 Comments on “Spring Respite for The Green Study

  1. I don’t blame you! If I lived somewhere as cold as Minnesota, I’d probably run around naked in the warmer weather. I’ll take my South Carolina heat and humidity any day over those northern winters. πŸ™‚

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      • Yeah, I’m all for snow until March 1st. Then I’m done. Although we’re lucky to get more than a couple of inches in SC, but I’m fine with that. Our lack of road treatment methods makes traveling in icy weather completely miserable. I like the kind of snow that falls quietly during the day, sticks around long enough to get me a morning to sleep in, and then melts during the afternoon. πŸ™‚

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  2. Hooray! Enjoy that dirt and sunshine! BTW – this is a really lovely piece, I love the pace of it, so effortless.

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    • I have a fondness for getting absolutely filthy. We always see these women on TV or in commercials, gloves on, pruners neatly snipping away, while resting on a knee pad, basket for fresh flowers at the ready. Now imagine all that, except covered in dirt and sweat. Sheer bliss for me! Thanks for the writing compliment – it’s a nice reminder that sometimes it’s good to go with the flow.

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  3. This is possibly the most beautiful blog i’ve ever read … pure joy, thank you.

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    • Have you ever seen a dog rolling about on a lawn with sheer happiness? Now imagine a pale, middle-aged woman doing that -that’s the kind of happy I’ve been feeling since the snow melted! The neighbors, on the other hand, have notified the police.

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    • And after about five minutes of that, we go back to ignoring each other! Nothing like the suburbs in the cities. But no complaints – I’m very glad the world has come out of stasis!

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  4. Lovely to hear the flicker, the mallards, the sunshine and even the dirt has returned. It is time to live anew, and outdoors.

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  5. Enjoy. I know exactly how you feel. I can barely stay indoors for a moment on my weekends. I’ve been cleaning dirt out from under my nails for days now. Oh, Spring oh joy!

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  6. To me, there is nothing like the oncoming spring–I can’t even imagine what that must feel like for Minnesotans! I give you credit for taking time off to soak it all in! Everything seems better in spring, doesn’t it? It’s like a fresh start.

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  7. This post just warmed me up, as if I could feel the Spring sunshine on me even from my desk at work! Lately during my evening walks, I have seen bunnies hopping all over in wooded areas. You can’t help but smile and feel rejuvenated!

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  8. It’s been pretty awesome!! From snow on the ground to high-70s in the space of less than a week. (Plus: bonus: the Twins aren’t sucking!)

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  9. Michelle, it is 48 degrees here in TX. I was all ready to sow summer wildflowers! The wind is beating the hell out of my beautiful climbing rose this afternoon. The patio is littered with white petals. I went out to put the cushions back on the chairs and discovered a nest with three eggs in it had been blown down from somewhere into one of the chairs. I hope it doesn’t get abandoned.

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