Feb 9, 2014

There Will Be Waiting Yet

Today the snow returned, and then the light. I sat for a time in the backyard, watching the snowflakes sparkle in the sun while they fell from the sky like tiny stars.  

This time of year is a tease. While eastern and northern folks don't even hope for signs of spring until April, we often see movement in late February. The snow melts, and even as the frost comes and goes, the most opportunistic plants push forth. It is not unusual to see the green of chickweed and little chive shoots this soon (delightful in an early-spring potato salad.) But this morning, glancing at the inches of snow lingering on the garden beds, I realize that I'm still in for a bit of a wait for those green gifts. 

I'm making potato salad anyway.

I've had my head down these last weeks - working my way through winter the only way I know how.  Shovel snow, feed the birds (and now the hungry ducks and deer come too,) trudge along through year-end and tax-time work at the office, snuggle cats, light candles, meditate, leave offerings, and then...breathe. 

Still, there is the slightest shift - barely perceptible - but it's there. I saw it in the mountain sheep ewes coming down the hill yesterday, heading low into the valley as they do when the grasses start to show at the edge of the roadsides. I saw it in the swans returning - just a few - but they are coming back to stop over on our lakes before they head to other destinations. The little pumpkin farm to the south of us has new covers on their greenhouses where they grow bedding plants for sale. The orchardists and those that tend the vinyards have been seen wanding through their rows of trees and vines, inspecting.

There will be waiting yet.  Which may be good for me.  As much as I long to see the earth again, I have work sitting in neat piles, and people wanting things from me - and I've been resisting. I'm only half-awake here, barely into the second week of February, and if the ground thawed tomorrow I know myself enough to fear that I'd toss my tax files into a corner and plunge my hands wrist-deep in the ground and not come back inside for any reason.

There are also many plans for this year.  Ideas and journeys and all sorts of adventures that make my mind swim with delight.  While I could easily lose an afternoon to dreaming about such things, I'm working on keeping my concentration on the tasks at hand, which often proves terribly difficult for my wandering brain.

My month thus far has been filled with distraction, but also with gentle forward progress.  

How is your February faring?