Monday, March 15, 2010

Mud Season

Rain! Rain and flooding and oh my! I still have potatoes and carrots on the bottom step of my root cellar - which floods! Why don't I just go and move it? Oh, because I cannot get the cellar door open on my own - it catches a corner and I can't pull it up without help (as my male guests know - they get used for root cellar access all the time).

In other news, the forsythias are starting to bloom hysterically early. Mud season, my friends, is upon us. I have seen buds on the trees.

If I don't sound that excited, it's because I'm not. Spring is that wondrous season that unveils herself after a cold, snowy, and equally wondrous winter. The contrast of a white, silent, and sleepy winter with the muddy, green, waking humming busyness of spring is the appeal of spring to me. But this year we didn't have a snowed-in winter in the Mid-Hudson Valley. We had a pathetic, broken animal of a winter. The rest felt stolen, unpaid for with shoveling endless walkways, just stolen. With no winter to tail, spring doesn't feel like an unveiling. It's just mud and work and waking green.

I know I'll get excited soon, once the blossoms start blooming and the snow melts off the mountains, replaced by that vibrant, nascent green, that can only mean the start of the busy seasons ahead. The heat and cold will compete for primacy as the seasons kick into high gear and the scurrying of spring with all of the planting and preparing will fade into summer with her glaring heat and constant work and that glorious week, tucked into late June, when everything is planted and the weeds haven't started in earnest yet, and there's nothing to do. And then the weeds will burst up and the summer will be full of swimming off the constant heat of picking weeds, and tomatoes, and the constant, flowing harvest, which will turn itself into hours at the stove canning sauces and jams, freezing everything, and slowly, the tremor of early fall will make me wake in a sweat in the middle of the night fearing a freak early frost until everything is harvested and the frosts start rolling in, and the root cellars are stocked and there's the constant smell of apples and wood smoke in the air. And then, maybe then, we will have a white winter which will remind us why spring is such a magical time.

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