Theoretically it is spring, as in the first day of. I know this because the calendar says so. Begrudgingly I will also concede that yes, the days are in fact longer than they used to be not so very long ago. But.
It’s really, really cold. And when I say cold, I am really not messing around. I’m talking overnight temps of -21C, which in countries other than Canada is cause for nationwide shut downs and a wailing and gnashing of teeth only previously seen when the Cadbury’s Cream Egg was reduced in size. Seriously though, I’m still not over that. But back to the weather.
Snow is still very much in evidence here, though in order to mix things up and give us a little variety we also have patches of ice. The ground that made a short visit to Visibility Town only a couple of weeks ago, is once more encased in a frosty tomb and shows none of the promise of life, greenery and warm month frolics that my heart so longs for. Le sigh.
Instead we continue on with our winter routine, making sure that animals have unfrozen water, keeping bedding fresh and cosy for long sleepy days snuggled up while the wind whistles outside. Damn how I envy our pigs. We cast our eyes longingly towards water troughs that will run on unfettered hoses in the summer months, freeing us from the labour of shifting buckets of water from one place to another. We turn our faces away from the biting wind and imagine ourselves in the future, pausing under a shady oasis while warm breezes wash over our over heated brows.
There are indications of spring for sure, the sound of birdsong is more present than it has been, the light floods our house warming us during the daylight hours and leaving behind residual warmth for many hours afterwards. The cats are actually marginally willing to go outside, rather than spending their waking hours finding hiding spots that will defeat our desire to not have them wee on the floor in the night. In this way spring is beginning her unfurling, tickling our senses with the possibility of mushy ground and green shoots.
But oh I how crave a quicker return. I was so in love with the above zero temperatures we had a few weeks ago, I stood out on the deck and felt the breeze wash over me as I dared to go outside with only two layers of clothing on and neither of them was made of down. Up here in the frozen north it really does stay colder for longer, and while I’m able to welcome the dark nights of winter after a long season of busyness, I’ve now reached the pointed of cabin fever and can’t wait to be out on the land again.
And I suppose that’s the point of it all really, that’s what keeps us sane on this cycle of warmth and cold. When you make the most of each season, when you wring out of it as much as you possibly can, the passing of it seems less painful. After a busy summer and fall of gardening, working outside and making the absolute most of every hour, the prospect of quiet hibernation becomes very welcome. Now, though, we are ready for the next phase. I want to feel my fingers go numb in the black earth that is barely ready to receive seeds. I want to bring in sheets off the line that are still cold with spring wind and crisp from riding the turbulent breezes. My fingers itch to caress the first buds on the trees and touch the unfurling leaves with soft tips that may yet have to withstand snow and ice.
So to all those who, like me, are feeling the burning desire for spring to get underway, I promise it will come. Not as quickly as we wish and not as easily as we would like but the wheel is turning once again. It’s our job to hold on tight and hope to not get squished.