Tuesday, April 1, 2014

beach chairs, scooters, and paper flowers

This weekend, Spring came to our yard.  Including pinkish buds on Sylvia.

The river is melting.

The sap is flowing.

The snow is melting.  Including the sad little pile that was Olaf.  

With the warmth outside comes longer days.  Homework is done these afternoons in the sunlight instead of while it is dark outside.

With Spring comes mud.  And the mess that has been hidden beneath the snow for months, trapped by the ice, or piles of tools and toys that were left until it is warm enough to be able to be outside to clean it up.

I have finally been able to extract Holiday Blow Up Penguin from the ice that had trapped him for months.  He is drying in the sun.  

Though the snow in the open parts of the yard is melting, the fenced in garden area for some reason is staying quite snowy.  And therefore, it looks like we are growing snow in there, and that planting season must be a very long way off.

But, given that I have finally placed my seed orders from Fedco and Seed Savers, and that I am seeing shoots of green here and there, I know that soon the ground will be workable.

And so, with a few very warm days, and the shift in light, we are being pushed outside, or pulled outside, out from our wintry nest.  The barn was being rummaged through quite a bit, for the warmer season accessories and the winter season ones were thrown in atop it all.  

The barn was a disaster.  

I got itchy.  And a feverish Spring cleaning has begun, as it does each year for me.  I clean, put away (often prematurely) winter gear and ready summer gear.  As though by lining the five bikes up in a row of increasing size, and putting beach chairs on nails near the door will somehow bring the new season more quickly.  

We completely cleaned out the barn over the weekend, putting skis and shovels and sleds away. (Let's ignore that we woke to two inches of snowy slush on Monday, shall we?)  And taking out lacrosse gear and bicycles and scooters amidst the roaming children searching out helmets.  It is much better now.

I am currently tackling the kitchen.  And the basement is next.  I do love the organization and purging that comes with my seasonal need to cleanse.

In the yard, all the beings here are feeling the freedom.  The ladies are on the move again.

Sylvia is pink against a blue sky.

The windows are open, and we all are drinking in the fresh air.  

We are all rushing outside, playing in shoes without socks, jumping across the remaining patches of ice and snow in the yard, pretending they are not there.

And along with our barefooted boldness?  The bees.  The bees are out.  

Problem is, there is nothing yet for the bees to forage for out here.  Despite my own powers of imagination and skillfully ignoring the snow and focusing on the bare spots, the bees need food.  It is all still a crispy brown landscape out there for them.  And until the maples bloom, they are going to need to keep eating their stored honey, and what we feed them.

Elliott, especially, is hard at work, taking care of them until the blooms arrive.

Do you know this book, Rose's Garden, by Peter Reynolds?  It is from the Front Door Library's collection, filed under bits and pieces of true things.

I have always loved the message of this book.  But this year, the first year that we have honey bees here for the full growing season, waiting for all the blooms and nectar and pollen that our yard will provide them for forage, and us waiting for them to pollinate and increase our grown food yield, I am thinking of this book again.  And of the waiting and hope of Spring.

Elliott's class learned how to make tissue paper flowers in school, bringing color inside before it is provided by nature.  He came home and wanted to make more, for here.  For the bees.

And like the children in Rose's Garden, he has been gifting them.

Pretty soon, we will have actual plants and flowers in their own full glory here.

Until then, we will take the warmth, and the mud, and the light.  We will happily collect the sap, acknowledging that until the maples bloom, the sap will run, and so a few more days of alternating cold and warmth is not so bad after all.  And pretty soon, the buckets and taps and evaporator will join the sleds and skis in the barn.

So we'll keep all kinds of colorful things at the ready until we can actually use them.

And we'll leave paper flowers about until the real ones arrive.

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