For a couple of days every year, usually along about February, I wake up and think, “Why, why, why do I live here?” Then I pull the covers back up over my head and moan. Long, pitiful, sorry-for-myself, moany-moans of misery.
But it never lasts.
A day like today eventually arrives to kick me in the seat of the pants and remind me: This. This is why you live in this particular spot in this particular part of Montana. And this is why you love it.
Nine little pairs of mating robins are scuttling and scampering all over Flower Farm, grabbing up nest construction materials, like daylily foliage and other perennial debris I left standing last fall for just this reason. Well. Possibly the reason was procrastination before the first hard snow. Things looked pretty ratty all winter long. But now, everything worked out. See? I knew I was doing it right.
Yesterday, I scattered some drier lint at the base of a few trees. Today, it's all gone. It makes my heart smile to know some perfect, beautiful, speckled aqua eggs will soon be pillowed by fuzzy cast-off fibers from Greg’s socks and underpants. Robin's egg blue on Jockey and Hanes' remnants. Swoon.
Crowns of peonies and bleeding hearts have called early spring’s bluff, stretched their cell memories, and broken through the soil in their annual miracle of survival and rebirth. For sure, early spring still has a few cold snaps and snowstorms up her sleeve, but these first brave plants stubbornly refuse to pay her any mind. Not today, with sunlight glinting on their tender green tippy-tops and egging them on toward future glory.
I can’t wait for a lazy afternoon a few months from now, when the bleeding hearts will stand fully upright and stretch their arms wide, draped by graceful arches of blossoms, and my grandson Evan will giggle: “Grandma! Let’s pick one and do the naked lady in the bathtub!”
Stay tuned. When the day comes, I'll post a photo, and you too can enjoy the naked lady in the bathtub. Fine. Call us immature. But here at Flower Farm, the bleeding heart version of a naked lady in the bathtub is hysterically funny. Especially if you are a seven-year-old boy.
Newspaper shreds, sawdust and leftover produce the deer were kind enough to leave alone (thank you, Yard Deer; thank you, Blue the Cow Dog, for chasing the Yard Deer) has transformed into rich black compost down below, and I can’t wait to sink in my shovel and wheelbarrow a few loads into our cutting beds and perennial gardens. Maybe I’ll even brew some compost tea.
There is work to be done. Lawn to rake, baby weeds to pull, seeds and bulbs to plant, root clumps to divide and move. The greenhouse is pulling me in.
This Montana day, this Montana season, inspires me to kick back the covers. Go outside. Feel the joy and renewal that follows the long cold winter. So I leap up, ready for it all, eager for it all, energized by it all.
In the spring, I am more fully myself and fully alive than any other time of year. More loaded with optimism and faith in tantalizing possibilities yet to be revealed.
I am ready. For sore muscles, and pink sunburned shoulders, and tired grins, and dirty fingernails, and dinner at ten o’clock at night.
Spring is here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Happy Spring.