I don't recall when it began, my obsession with spring. As a child having an April birthday helped, but it was always more than that.
Spring is the opening of a present you've been looking longingly at for weeks. Spring is the arrival of all the things you love most, in one delicious cascade: songbirds, lilacs, spring peepers, bare feet.
Spring, to me, is happiness incarnate. And I never want to miss a moment.
I remember a change that happened in me in early adulthood – a shift in my relationship with spring. It happened after the eternal free time of childhood had melted away, but then (like now) my love of spring remained. I recall noticing with surprise mid-spring how long the fresh shoots of grass were along my drive to work. I saw them with equal parts excitement and sadness. Excitement, of course, because it was spring, my favorite season of all. But sadness because I realized how much I had already missed. Spring, like peak color in fall, is fragile and fleeting. And seeing those tall shoots of grass I also saw countless opportunities to be out in the awakening season that I had missed; moments of discovering one sleepy unfurling plant at a time as the season came to life around me.
Ever since then the shoots of grass along my driveway and the roadside are my litmus test to a spring well lived. Am I surprised by how tall they have grown? Then a walk is in order – right away! When I'm not surprised by their height, well, then I know I've been living this spring just the way I want to – with mud on my boots and sun on my face.
I don't want to miss a moment of this delicious season. Not this year; not when I'm eighty.
And so we've been heading down to the nettle patch nearly every day and harvesting fresh tips for breakfast and dinner. We set up a new creekside campfire ring, and though it's only been a few days we've already had two fires there with more sure to happen this week.
Spring also breathes life in stalled projects I've had on deck (or in mind) for ages. When we're not outside eyeing up the nettle sprouts and the grass shoots we are dreaming, doing, and making.
I guess the part I'm falling short on is the story sharing. Oh, I have such a backlog of stories for you! About life and death on the farm; about knitting projects and beeswax cloth; about nettle soup and goose egg waffles.
So many stories, just waiting for me to jot them all down. But this broken arm slows us all down a bit, and my writing time is now divided with other tasks, like caring for animals and tending things around the house. I think it's time I find my groove.
One by one I'll tick away at these stories, this week and next. (There is no expiration date on sharing completed knitting projects, is there? Because goodness. I have them going back to October, when there was no broken arm to blame for my lack of writing rhythm.) I'll work up a simple nettle soup recipe for you and teach you how to patch your jeans. Some of you have asked me to share how we manage kids and chores, and it's been too long since I've taking photos of a lamb in a tutu. And maybe – if I can find it in this tender heart – I'll share another story or two of the hard lessons of farm life.
Yes, I think that's just what I need. Will you join me?
I'll be back soon, with lots to share. Until then, if you need me, I'll be down by the creek catching frogs.