The fire is merry in the propane fireplace that heats my house. The feather-filled duvet on my bed is cozy and warm, too. Outdoors, the grape hyacinths, windflowers, and flowering quince bring color to the garden while all else languishes in sullen chill nights. Hawthorn buds swell, but show no white. A fat package full of seed packages sits in the cool laundry room, waiting – oh so waiting.
Tomorrow spring is on the calendar for springing. A Disney “Bambi” soundtrack plays in my head. Even with climate change making our winters less snowy these days, we know better than to rush outdoors with tender green dreams! But I know spring is here anyway. My body clock chimes with loud insistence as the sun prepares to wow us tomorrow with 12 hours of equal light and dark.
I know it is spring when:
I want to get rid of half my furniture and every knick knack in sight. Yes, spring makes me minimalist. My husband protects us all from my emptying the household. I satisfy the urge by re-arranging instead. This year I uncrowded the den/meadery by moving the racked bottles to the family room where we sit at table daily. This left space in the den for the humongo exercise machine. Besides, who shouldn’t have dozens of bottles of mead at hand without rising from table, eh? (Yes, that white ovaloid at the end is now our main fermenter! Start and finish on one wall!)
I look at my houseplants like some sort of exotic captives, they need to breathe free and wild OUTside! Or so I feel in spite of still occasional freezing nights. Since my dear sons enclosed my front porch a year ago, I can now satisfy the need to move almost all my houseplants from the necessarily* electrically-lit “jungle” by putting them on the protected porch. Natural light through old nigh-antique glass. Yes, a new rite of spring here!
* Our 2008 installation of new windows in the house, with ‘heat shielding’ meant that the full light spectrum plants need is no longer available. Thus, electric supplementation.
My minimalist spring self wants to prune bookshelves. This begins with cookbooks being gutted by scissors, snipped bits scanned and emailed to my electronic cookbook on an ancient iPad, the rest shredded into recycling. Who knows where it ends….
I want French Toast. And no ordinary version, either. I want it made of spiraled slices of cinnamon rolls! Even with my clean-eating regimen well into its second year, this craving has me contemplating making the necessary cinnamon rolls to use for tomorrows breakfast after inundating them in vanilla-infused egg and milk.
I will “feed” the stones. Ah, there it is – for the category “pagan life” – yes, something nice and non-logical? A ring of stones, some too heavy to move without aid from strapping young muscle men, surrounds my home. Placement was one of my first acts as a finally un-closeted pagan back in the mid-90’s. My children each selected deities of storied pantheons that they admired and might wish to worship or emulate as their upbringing as humanist Catholic-rited folk inspired them. Taking mead, beer, or watered wine to each stone, and perhaps bread or incense is my only pagan rite tomorrow. It is a nod to those bits of myself that desire no logic, that feed on dreams and nightmares. It is a meditation of the ages the named stones stretch over – a remembering of where we have been and where we yet may need to go.
The Ostara Tree will be taken down and put away. Ever since my children were small, we followed a German tradition of bringing in budded branches in mid-March and decorating it for spring. Blown and decorated eggshells, glass ornaments, wooden birds, bunnies, garden implements. The blossoms blooming before the Vernal Equinox was a sign of luck, we said. Well, they have blossomed and dried! So back in the box with fragile eggshells, and the branches go into the yard recycling bin!
Thus into tomorrow I march! The small tiller gets fresh gas and a new spark plug. The Labyrinth will be raked, for soon I must walk it again for a fallen Marine. Ah, Spring — when men’s thoughts turn to
love making war. Sadly, historically true. Not the “rite of spring” I had in mind, but there is reality biting again.
May you find what takes you forward into the greening season!