Spring Spots

It was a dark and snowy morn—not what I was expecting. The dark, maybe, with daylight savings and all, but not the snow! The weekend had been so tantalizing—warm and windy. We were thinking, feeling, dreaming of spring. Then more snow? Truth be told, it was not a lot, just a dusting, barely enough to cover the recently revealed ground. Still, I am clinging fast to the first spots of spring.

We are post-Genesis. The concert celebrating creation that kept us hopping and hoping through the winter months came and went (February 27-8). Released from its grip, I have been reflecting on what the concert brought to life.

It was good to be dancing on a big stage, with Geoff beside me playing. We want to do more.

It was good to be working together as a family to get it accomplished. Jordan and Jessica were indispensable front-of-the-house and backstage support. Kyra got people there who otherwise wouldn’t have come. Kai slept through the first night and sat calmly through the second, enabling us to do our work.

It was good to be coming out in a new community, where everyone in the audience was someone we have come to know in our past three years here—farmers and professionals, educators and artists.

It was good to wake up the morning after the final performance, offered at the end of an eternal February, and know that we had made it to March—the month in which spring begins!

Our dance about beginnings left us wanting more—more dance, more family, more creation, more sharing, and more spring!!

Creation accomplished, we began spotting further signs of spring.

First, it was the hens. After months of cooping themselves by choice, they are hazarding forth in search of earth patches, pecking for whatever shoots and bugs they can find. What they leave behind, Kyra is collecting—eggs! After taking their habitual egg-laying hiatus through the darkest months of the year, the hens are producing again.

After the hens, it was the horse. Marvin now emerges from his run-in to run around his field. We tried to take him for a walk yesterday. He seems to have forgotten that slow is a desirable speed.

Then the cows. The three girls now plod up the hill, away from the barn walls, nose to the ground, scouting for those first shoots. Around them frolic the bull calves, frisky enough that we set them loose with the cows. Precious is bulging, nearly ready to drop the calf she has been carrying for the past nine months.

Then the cats. Zelsha caught her first mouse. She caught a second, and left a third as a gift for us on the doorstep. Son Butterscotch, now three, has yet to develop a mouse habit, but perhaps he will evolve beyond birds and rabbits this year.

Then the kids. Everyone is in what Jordan has come to call a “deep state of wanting.” They all want to be outside, in the mud, up the hill, planting the garden, on the horse, done with school, doing their own projects. My small traveler is kicking up a storm too, already not wanting to be left behind.

Then the flies. This weekend, as they hatched from our sunny sills, I marshaled the kids for an all-out war. Jordan questioned my use of metaphors—me the pacifist, urging military action? I reconsidered. Realizing that the flies, like every other creature, just want to get outside, I spent the rest of the morning orchestrating Operation Liberation. What a pleasure to open those windows!

Even this snow, really, when I think about it, is a spring thing. The farmers around here call it the “poor man’s fertilizer.” A small snow like this, just as the shoots are beginning to pop, covers the new growth with nitrogen nicked from the air on its way down. The plants will be healthier and stronger and greener for it.

As spotty as they are, these glimpses of spring encourage. Indeed, there is life after Genesis, and we want it. We are feeling the pull to open ourselves to the coming sun, and grow anew.

I am ready.

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