Yesterday it began.
Some vegetables have a longer growing season than our climate routinely allots. Hence, those seeds need a head start in the greenhouse. The times vary by variety, but the longest of them in our garden portfolio is 12 weeks. Twelve weeks, in other words, before we intend to move those juvenile plants out into the rows and soil, their seeds need to be nestled into soil blocks in trays and nurtured and evoked in the greenhouse. We think of it as a “down payment on spring.” There will be subsequent additions to those protective shelves. Ten weeks out will come the next round, then eight, six and four. The “destination date”, of course, is hardly certain. Weather doesn’t always follow the calendar and the example of past years; that, and of course, the climate is changing. Transplanting day – a date beyond the last danger of frost and the soil has warmed – is a mercurial target. Based on the historical evidence at hand, however, we make a best guess and back up through the weeks accordingly.
All the way to yesterday.
Later in the day I put a primer coat on the new beehives we had acquired. More brush strokes will be required over the coming days, but they, too, are taking shape. In anticipation – of placement; of spring; of the arrival of the actual bees. By the time that happens, baby chicks will be ensconced in the barn, anticipating their own accession to the chicken yard and the flock within.
Life italicized, we lean forward toward the newness of what will emerge.
It has been a cold winter – in more ways than the weather. Cold, both literally and metaphorically. We have huddled together and hunkered down; we have crowded close to even the tiniest flame in search of both warmth and light, and we have struggled to endure and process the paralysis of the bitterness without losing hope that reality would change for the better and more habitable. It has been, we can say together, a long wait – and we are waiting still.
Decades ago, I was cast in a community th
eater production of the musical, Annie. I’m sure there have been more polished and professional productions, but we were proud of what happened on stage. That, and I still hum, on occasion, the iconic song of confidence that little orphan girl belted out:
The sun will come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There'll be sun!
The last couple of days the temperature has risen to 50-degrees. There are certainly times of the year when that temperature feels frigid, but given that only 10 days ago it was -23, 50 feels, by contrast, almost tropical. And the snow is melting. Gradually, but steadily. And beneath it, revealed by the receding white, quite miraculously – as if to say, “thank you for waiting” – is green.
All of which is to say that the sun will, indeed, come up – today, in fact, as well as tomorrow.