Spring Break

I’ve taken a break here for a few weeks, and at first it was hard and now it’s hard to get back! This has been a year of pausing, so it felt right. Creative routines or rituals can feel consuming, and I have a lot of them to be consumed by. Sometimes you have to wonder why you do them. I enjoy creating these little time capsules–they gather my thoughts and satisfyingly cement a place in time. Now that I’m sitting back down to write, I realize how many details of the last few weeks I haven’t documented. There was the gathering and boiling of sap; a good year that made up for last year’s dearth. I yielded a gallon of syrup this year. And now we’re already at a spot where the ramps are almost completely unfurled, the cherry and magnolia blossoms are open and even the May flies have spawned. Spring is coming on hot and heavy, which can be glorious and unsettling at the same time.

I am sitting outside, and the flies swarm around my head. They are easily brushed away, and thankfully they’ll only be around for two weeks. The cat walks by, glad of spring as well. A branch fell from the sugar maple, and I have it on my table to admire: big chartreuse buds that have opened to release these tiny pom pom flowers. So intricate! Meanwhile, the rhubarb’s substantial leaves are stretching out, the forsythia is a bright cloud of yellow, and in the distance the trees are filling out with a slight haze of greens and reds. The Hansen’s cherry bushes I planted so many years ago are studded with pale pink blossoms. It all makes the heart glad.

In the winter, the hours are long and you struggle to fill them. Yet once spring is here, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in. The garden takes up a lot of time, and every morning I spend a little bit more time sowing seeds: peas, spinach, lettuce, turnips, and radishes. After dropping off some recycling at the local transfer station this morning, I squeezed in a small hike, and I could feel I was rushing because there were things to do! Thankfully, I tired myself out on the way in so that the way back was leisurely, and I began to see some old friends growing out of the leaf litter: trout lily and Dutchman’s breeches. Then I noticed the beautiful red remains of a cardinal scattered by the trail. The patterns of the foam from the waterfall pooling and eddying around the rocks. I slowed right down and savored the rest of the walk. It was nice to be back.

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