Spring has officially moved into these parts but it has an inferiority complex of sorts and thinks it is Summer so it has been, well, hot. Like 82 degrees hot. Five days in a row. Then some more days in a row. My perennial herb garden on the side of the house looks like it has always been there and I could easily begin harvesting leaves for meals if I wanted to. Creeping thyme, lavender, tarragon, chamomile, sage, oregano and a gargantuan horseradish plant (I know, not an herb but...). We're looking to add rosemary to the perennial bed and then we will have basil, cilantro and parsley in our other small bed by the house. That bed is also coming into its own with brussel sprouts, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. And we haven't even tilled or sowed the "real" garden yet! The tomato seedlings for that plot are growing upstairs in our window sills. I have to give all credit to my husband, John, for making this all happen. I take care of the herb and flower beds but he does all the dirty work for the vegetables. Growing things, and growing them well, takes work, yes but it is oh so very worth it. We are still eating tomatoes and squash from our freezer and last night I made pasta with pesto that John had frozen at the end of the season last year. So, the cycle begins anew. I wanted to take a moment, though, to simply list some things that make my heart glad. It has been said that "thanksgiving is the soil in which joy thrives" and thus, I want to share some of my joy.
Things I Love About Spring:
1. The return of the Eastern Phoebes that have come back, once again, and built a nest in our barn's lean-to, only feet away from last year's location. They craft beautiful places to lay and raise their young, perfectly "nest" shaped, covered in green moss and lichen and cleverly located on top of a empty light box in our rafters. We can sneak a peek inside if we bring a ladder. Last year, every one of their eggs hatched and fledged successfully. We're hoping for the same outcome this year.
2. The deafening songs of, first, the Spring Peepers and then the chorus frogs and bull frogs. Our neighbors across the road have about a 5 acre lake for their backyard and so we have access to a wonderful natural observatory. We explored the edges quite a bit towards the end of winter and we have enjoyed watching the plant and animal life come alive with the warming temperatures. We're hoping to do a lot of fishing from the banks this spring and summer.
3. The way the woods behind our house fill up with green foliage, almost overnight, and provide an instant natural screen that obscures any evidence of a subdivision behind us. One morning, last week, I woke up to discover that we lived "in the woods", not plopped down in the middle of development.
4. The fact that my boys want to be outside constantly. Sometimes, it is just to sit on their rope swings in the walnut trees and quietly think and observe. My dad always wonders, "What are they thinking about?" The proper answer would probably be just another question, "What aren't they thinking about?" Sometimes, I'll find them stretched out in the grass, soaking up the sun like a lizard. Other times, I'll find one of them talking to the chickens, asking them about their day or what they are up to. Aidan has stated, on numerous occasions, that he is able to understand the chickens and that they, too, can understand him. I don't doubt it one bit.
August insists that we eat lunch outside every day, which is fine with me. Maybe this year I can find the perfect cafe table at a garage sale and we can dine in true alfresco style. I did fine some great little glass lanterns (clear and green) in the dollar bin at Target. They only had three left, all of which I bought, and I would have bought more if I could. Now, August insists that we read outside, by candlelight, before bed.
5. The fact that, because we choose our home as our base for learning, we can fully succumb to the sickness of "Spring Fever" and take everything outside. Or we can make "outside" our focus for the day. The flexibility to enjoy this glorious season is such a gift.
I'm sure I will add to this list but I just wanted to share a little of the joy.
Have a beautiful Spring.