Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Geese, The 50, The Iris, The Waiting

This morning I opened the sliding door to scare away two squirrels at the bird feeders. I was angry. I'd put out a nutty squirrel log to disctract them, but they aren't distracted yet. Didn't matter. Nothing else in the world matters when, after 40" of snow (average is 20") and three months of a very cold winter, a person opens a door at 10am and, and.... Spring. My god it's spring. Standing in shorts and a t-shirt in bright sun and a light wind, it's spring. I wanted to shout it. I wanted to call back to the massive hords of geese honking back and forth to one another like a game of marco polo. I want in. I am in.

50 degrees never felt so real. It was a full immersion, a blessing, a baptism that slides right through your skin, muscle, veins, and blood. By the thuja, iris reticulata pokes up out of the ground like fresh bamboo shoots. In the garden the snow is melting fast now, water pools in the bottoms unable to penetrate the frozen clay soil. The grasses, the sedges, the asters--these are all now emerging from the snow flattened like bed hair. The only winter interest the garden has this year was a continuous one foot of wet, heavy snow ripping off large branches of itea and viburnum that will take years to regrow.

Maybe it's spring. Maybe it's not. I've been tricked before, I've let myself fall in love with moments and thoughts too often not to be a little realistic, a little jaded. Morning. It sounds too much like mourning. And yet I've also discovered that the opposite of a thing is often that thing--that what is, isn't, and so more truthfully is. Mourning is morning, the beginning of a recovery.

Spring. A coil tightly wound, compressed flat to the earth, all that stored and hidden energy, all that promise and hope, all that electric, faster-than-light, in-the-blink-of-an-eye potential and change just waiting. A trap. A rabbit hole. A rock at the top of a hill.

Hundreds of geese this morning ride the wind northwest. Iris reticulata spikes the air. Fifty degrees echoes back to December first and the fall garden. My bare legs on the back steps are like roots, tree leaves, taking in the morning again as if seasons never existed and I am the first one to know this world.

21 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I know JUST what you mean, Benjamin. The sun has remembered where we live, it's springlike today after ten days with no sun, and you can hear the whole world heaving a sigh of relief. We'll make it through, and this hint o' spring is helping immensely.

Les said...

Maybe it is or maybe it isn't, but there is definately a crack in winter's armour.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

As if there's something wrong with falling in love with a moment!!!

--------------
Erat Hora

"Thank you, whatever comes." And then she turned
And, as the ray of sun on hanging flowers
Fades when the wind hath lifted them aside,
Went swiftly from me. Nay, whatever comes
One hour was sunlit, and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed.
- Ezra Pound
--------------

Amy said...

I bet you would really be happy if it hits 60 degrees.
We have been in the mid to upper
60's and it is wonderful. The weather can change so quickly and all of our moods! Enjoyed your post.

Carol said...

Benjamin how beautifully written! I love the bed hair grasses and the joy of feeling alive standing outside with bare legs ... like roots, trees and leaves! You are realistic in your reverie ... knowing that something may be what it is not. I hope you have more days in the 50's and all your snow melts... that your Iris reticulata unfurl bringing you mantles of purple! Spring has the final say! Enjoy the day! Lucky you! Carol

Kyna said...

I had the opposite feeling. I went outside in a pair of jeans, and I wish I was wearing shorts lol. It's sneaking up on us very quickly...

Town Mouse said...

Hey, even if it's just a few days of spring, and then winter is back, it's still spring, isn't it? I was so glad to be able to work in my garden today! (I'll also be glad if it's pouring buckets again in a few days)

Stone Art said...

Were just injoying our first few days of sunsine of the year over here in Ireland, and it is just gloryous. Makes you forget all about the misrabble weather we normaly have ( well atleast for a while)

debsgarden said...

Your eloquent writing expresses my sentiments exactly. Spring has been slow in coming this year, byt now it is pushing up through the earth and swelling in the buds along branches. Today is another day like that. The temp is suppose to reach the sixties. Welcome, Spring!

WiseAcre said...

A sure sign of spring is when the sap starts to run. It's come early and promises to be a good season.

Jeeze, that didn't come out quite right. I was talking about maple syrup time - not your prose.

jeansgarden said...

Benjamin, It feels like spring here, too. We've had two days in a row with bright sunshine, deep blue skies, and temperatures in the mid-fifties. The remaining snow is patchy, I can see all kinds of greenery coming up, and I found a hyacinth near the south side of the house this morning. But, like you, I am a bit wary; it might seem like April, but it is still early March. -Jean

patientgardener said...

I thought this post was very poetic and heart-felt. We havent had any where near as much snow as you but I do understand that feeling of relief when you start to feel that Spring might be just around the corner

Jess said...

Allelujah! It was 62 here today, and I couldn't get over it myself either. I think high 60s soon, so no doubt heading your way quickly - no trick!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Whoa--so many comments! I must've hit a chord with everyone! Alas, 40s are here (average though) and rain rain rain. Anxious for the crocus to bloom. I want to see all 600 bulbs come up and light up the borwn grass like a christmas tree, or a birthday cake. Ummmm. Cake.

Tina said...

Ack! Don't let Spring know you've noticed her! She's a 'tag' kind of gal and if you get close, Whamo!, she'll go run and hide behind Old Man Winter's skirts.
Of course, we haven't seen hide nor hair of her here yet.
If you get the time, stop by my blog and answer the question I have up today about yours :)

leavesnbloom said...

Spring has sprung here too Benjamin. I went for a walk today equiped with hat, gloves, scarf and near the end of it the hat and gloves etc were off and the zip was undone on my coat - I was so warm. What a glorious day it was here too in Scotland today. My neighbour keeps a record of her blooms in the garden and we are 3 weeks behind compared to last year. I'm sure you are probably the same too in your part of the world.

Pam said...

Well, if you think it's spring, it is - everything else be damned.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

I experienced the very same thoughts and feelings this weekend, Ben. It's wonderful, sweet, a new day! Or is it? Hmm, I've been tricked before, too...so I am walking on eggshells right now, not fully taking it all in, waiting for the next snow flake to fall;-) But soon...there will be no doubting!

Indoor Fountains said...

Isn't relativity amazing!! It is 55 here today and we are out sans jackets!!If this were late May- we would all be bundled up!!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Without a cold and long winter, would we appreciate spring? Would we be so happy? Everything is here for a purpose. Happy spring to you!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Benjamin,
I have been behind in my blogging, mostly because we had our small kitchen remodeled to make it more functional. You've probably heard the ads for Three Day Kitchen and Bath, where they say, "If you want a brand new kitchen, there's nothing to it..." Well, there is something to it. It was great to have them get the work done in 4 days, but it has taken me lots of time getting everything out of there, then back again. We also are turning what used to be a computer room into a play room for our grandson.

I came by to see what you've been up to, and let you know I hope to be doing some dividing and moving of perennials in a week or two, if you are still interested in seeing if there's anything you want to plant. I see you've been very busy, too.

I got wrapped up in this post, partly because I remember that day, and also because of the beautiful way it was written. I am kind of disappointed it didn't rain today, but I've been out doing more clean up. I have most of my vegetable gardens planted both at home and across the street. I don't know how I managed without the space across the street.

I met another Lincoln blogger today. She gardens, too, but her blog isn't just about gardening. I'm giving you her link, because she has been blogging since 2005, and it looks like she gets very few comments. Maybe the 3 of us could have a plant exchange. (I couldn't go get her link, because I got a message asking if I was sure I wanted to leave the page due to unsaved changes. The name of her blog is Simply Living and Loving each Day.

Enjoy the weekend,
Sue