And just like that everything is green again. Despite the chilly nights Spring has arrived. Birds are back and gracing us with song. Rhubarb and asparagus are abundant, and spruce tips will become a favored drink. Nettles are welcomed here and we cook them with our morning eggs. Later they’ll be dried for tea. The ongoing battle to keep free-ranging chickens out of the garden is only topped by the numerous groundhog holes that are popping up.
So it goes. Life has its cycles. And we have our choices. Putting up fencing or getting some groundhog recipes are high on the list of choices right now. Neither of which we’ll do.
There are practical skills learned by living with the land. At some point you must decide which battles are worthy of your time and which are not.
I think everyone should take at least a one-year stint of living on a farm and attempting to be sustainable. If you’re fortunate you’ll learn about what is precious, and if you’re really paying attention you may even remember what is sacred.
The notion of progress has defined us as “modern people”. The irrational pursuit of wealth has crippled our ability to care for one another. The simplest joys elude us as we join the rat race and leave the human race behind.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In our heart of hearts, we know it doesn’t have to be that way. But we’ve been conditioned to follow the leader to the exclusion of what we know is possible. It’s time for that to change.
Cycles come and cycles go. If we would allow the longing for simplicity and the need for peace to lead once more, this cycle of darkness would end.
It’s the little things this time of year that captivate the spirit and invigorate the mind. The recent rain and bright sun awakened the earth and you will now find trillium and May apples dancing in the breeze. Bloodroot, another forest plant, arrives early and shyly displays brilliant white blossoms.
And for culinary delight, nettles and asparagus are found at breakfast with eggs our chickens and ducks offer in abundance.
I’m ever on the lookout for young saplings to protect from roving deer or our sheep that mow every tender morsel in sight.
I hear some people have found morels, but our valley may still be too cool for that. Everything will come in its time, to those who have patience to wait and the diligence to keep searching.
It’s no surprise that this momentous occasion called spring has been the source of frivolity and celebration through the ages. People who live among the wild things cannot escape the incredible display of life in and around them.
To ignore these precious moments is to sleepwalk. It cannot be an easy feat to miss this eruption of life and not give the adoration it is due, for it is indeed awesome and feeds our soul.
To call Nature a great teacher is an understatement. Yet I find the greatest teacher of all to be appreciation. The gift to behold beauty and be lured into a quiet state of mind is the fruit of appreciation. Without it, the impeccable fragrance of the orchard is ignored; the sweet songs of the birds go unheard.
Appreciation is the gift we give ourselves and is quite capable of relieving every burden. If you have missed the sweetness of the season, turn around, slow down and drink in this moment. It was made for you.