This could be it -- it might hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit today and it might do so again tomorrow. Spring officially begins in a little more than a week, and those bulbs that mistook January's weirdly high temperatures for spring seem to be none the worse for the subsequent deep freeze. The spikes of their leaves are green and succulent. They're ready to go. Crocuses and snowdrops are already in bloom.
More, more! More sun and more heat! More green things poking their way out of the dark ground! I am greedy each spring, rushing the season in my imagination and in reality, going outside without a coat before it is time. It has not been a long winter, nor an especially hard one -- a spate of cold in the weeks just past, but nothing to write home about. I really shouldn't feel like I've been in March of the Penguins. But my entire body longs for spring, and I can taste the summer.
I will chop down the butterfly bushes until they are only a foot or two tall -- by July, they'll be well over my head. I will puzzle over the clematis and struggle to remember which of them to prune now and which to wait for, cursing myself yet again for not taking notes. I will put out food for Ethel Merman, in case she comes home early, or in case another hummingbirds passes through town and needs a snack. I am debating planting Q's tattered bathrobe in the garden, where nesting birds can pull it apart and use it for their layettes. He did that with his old red sweater once, and they took it all.
All the computer clocks understood about daylight saving time without being told, even though the powers that be it hadn't been moved three weeks earlier in the year when any of them were born -- amazing. Even Ben the Cat knew, somehow, and woke Q up in time for church yesterday, after he had forgotten to set the radio alarm.
All in all, an exciting time. The worst of my travel is almost over. I will not be a recluse -- although I am sorely tempted by that lifestyle, and may one day adopt it -- but I will be home more, to rake out beds and uncover things, to set out pots, to plant the windowbox. To breathe deeply the smell of dirt and new leaves, the smell of flowers. To have dinner with Q. To think about a new book. To finish cleaning out the basement. To allow unscheduled things to happen in my life.
More, more! And less, less! More sun and time, more unfilled hours, more holy solitude and quiet family. And less and less of everything else.
But not quite yet:
March 23-25 Trinity Church, Newtown CT. Barbara Crafton leads a retreat on Saturday and preaches at three services on Sunday. 203-426-9070
March 30 St. Luke's, Metuchen. Barbara Crafton speaks at St. Luke's Lenten series on the current "discussions" within the Anglican communion. 732-548-4308.
March 31 Church of the Holy Trinity, Ocean City. Barbara Crafton is retreat leader. 609-399-1019.
April 5th Geranium Journey to St John's Lattingtown, Long Island, NY. 516-671-3226. Bring a bag lunch and join in a discussion with Barbara Crafton.
April 14th St. Barnabas, Ardsley, NY Quiet Morning for the Easter Season with Barbara Crafton 914-693-3366