Browsed by
Month: March 2014

The Spring Equinox. Seriously.

The Spring Equinox. Seriously.

Yesterday I did my chores in just a jacket, no gloves, no hat, just a lined spring jacket and me.  I carried water and feed out to the pigs, grateful for the tiny sprinkle of snow that had fallen on top of the deadly ice, the sun warmed the house so the furnace barely burned at all.  I turned my face up to the sunshine and stretched my arms up to the blue sky.  I stood outside for whole minutes, time ticking by while poetry ran through my mind, describing the feeling of the emerging spring.

Today…not so much.

DSC_0312 DSC_0316 DSC_0315 DSC_0314 DSC_0313Yep, more snow.  A good few inches have fallen this morning, covering the deck that was boards yesterday, wiping away the footsteps and tracks from previous outings on to the farm.  Once more we are blanketed in snow in full defiance of the newly arrived equinox, bringing with it an equal balance of day and night.  More light to see the snow with right now.

But no matter, it is what it is and we must make the best of it.  Today Stephen and the boys will clear out the cow barn in preparation for Morag’s new calf, which is due this coming week.  We’ve been on birth alert for the last month and though she seems in fine fettle, there are no signs so far.  Fingers crossed all will go well with her on these snowy spring days.

While the boys are moving muck, I’m off to a tincture workshop being held by Amber at The Wild Garden, and I’m really excited!  Amber is such a knowledgable herbalist I look forward to learning from her and making more of my own tinctures this coming year.  I have grand plans for a gigantic herb garden as well as raiding the wild larder, oh yes indeed!  And tomorrow, dependent on Morag and her birthing schedule, we’ll be off to celebrate the equinox with other like minded souls, welcoming in this spring that is not a spring and hoping to trigger, by sheer willpower, the greening of the land.  In the meantime stay cosy, stay safe and Happy Spring!

The Truth Is

The Truth Is

The truth is, I’m done.  Done with white, with ice, with winter.  I’m done walking on treacherous ice, I’m done wincing against a bitter wind, I’m done with looking at field after field of plain old white.

The truth is, my littlest boy is 5 big years old and it just makes me want to grab hold of him and squeeze him close.  At night I kiss his cheeks while he sleeps and I have secret wishes in my heart that he just freeze right now, no more growing please.  I’m so proud (and so very terrified) that this big boy is my baby.

DSC_0177 DSC_0186

The truth is I find myself avoiding my blog when I feel a bit low, when my inner heart is just hacked off and tired.  I feel guilty that I’m not able to make the super shiny best of every super shiny moment, in fact I feel tired and a bit beaten up by this long, long winter. The words get stuck in my metaphorical writing throat and so I write nothing, my silence feeling brooding and grumpy.  So I write this instead and hope to unstick, like the logs that will hopefully be released by (soon to be) melting ice.

The truth is I long for green, with aching desperation and painful sad wishing.  I long for sunshine, grass and spring flowers.  I envy my friends and family in England right now who are looking at buds and mottled colours everywhere.  We are so far from that here, or so it feels.  Still encased in ice and snow everywhere I look.

The truth is I know the shift has happened, I know the lighter nights and slightly warmer days are signs of spring to come.  I know but don’t believe.   I look outside expecting song birds and yellow light but instead see monochrome.

The truth is I’m tired of waiting, my patience has run out.  So I won’t wait anymore.  Spring starts here, whether she’s ready for me or not.  We are painting in green and yellow, making equinox crafts, going out without hats (even when it hurts), starting seeds under lights and planning for the many baby animals that will be joining us soon.  Fake it till you make it people, it’s spring time ready or not.

In Like a Lion

In Like a Lion

There is an old English saying that March “Comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”  Well I don’t know about the lamb part (though I think we are all keeping our fingers very firmly crossed on that subject) but the lion part is certainly striking a chord.

DSC_0138 DSC_0140 Looking out of the window on March 1st we saw the above scene, lots of snow falling.  It settled through the day, fluffy and light but with a sense of purpose.  That snow wanted to cover as much as it could with it’s white blanket, and cover it did.

Since then we’ve and a few above 0 c days but not that many.  Today it’s going to reach a mighty 3 c and outside is now slushy and icy, a bit treacherous underfoot and much less pretty than when the pure white flakes of snow were falling with a soft hiss.  But I’ll take it.

DSC_0142 DSC_0143This winter has been totally defined by the weather, so deeply cold that it really becomes hard to imagine that it will ever go.  The other day, when I was out feeing the pigs and chickens, it occurred to me that we were a wardrobe and streetlamp away from Narnia.  I swear if I had stood still long enough the sound of sleigh bells and the scent of Turkish Delight would have reached me…

For now there are glimmers of spring, days above bone shatteringly freezing that hint as the possibility of the earth one day returning to brown and green.  I know it is a scientific inevitability and yet I find it hard to really believe right now.  The warmer days are overcast and filled with the sound of melting snow hitting the ground as icy water, patches of muddy  earth are emerging in random places but still hold on to that look of winter, of cold and lifeless space.

But I know, with the certainty of years on this earth, from somewhere deep inside that has roots down into the brown beneath the white, that we are approaching the end.  Soon I will turn my face up to the warm sun, listen to the birds and scent the sweet smell of new life on the breeze.  I will shed my layers and wander out in short sleeves, my eyes shaded from the burning sun by my floppy brimmed hat.  I know there will come a day where I will complain of the heat that never seems to end but, after the winter we’ve had, I feel like it will take a lot of hot days to really warm me right through.

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

It was a pretty normal morning around here…

DSC_0145 DSC_0146 DSC_0147For the boys the day began with games in pj’s, some changes needed to be made to the pieces to make them perfect (of course).

DSC_0148DSC_0150 DSC_0151For Stephen and I it began with farm chores, the regular stuff that needs doing every day.  Feeding the pigs and chickens, hauling water and food through the snow, breaking through inches thick ice on this cold, bright morning.  Stephen does the milking while I get breakfast ready, then it’s on to filtering milk, putting it in newly washed jars while oat pancakes sizzle on the griddle.

DSC_0149DSC_0152 DSC_0153Other morning chores, like washing eggs and hanging laundry on the airer (that Stephen built) happen after breakfast.  My beloved heads out to work and I start school with the boys.  Maths, handwriting, reading, narrations….all part of our regular day.

DSC_0154 DSC_0155 DSC_0156Huwyl’s reading novel at the moment is a children’s version of Black Beauty, a timeless classic he’s really enjoying.  He’s moving from print to cursive, a gentle transition as we practice some italic writing before jumping in to cursive proper.  Neirin is reading now, we work on his reading skills each day, adding new letters and sounds to his repertoire.  Our mornings seem to go by a blur these days, busy with chores and school.  Each day a version of this one, but at the same time no day is like another.