the slow melt

Today, the sun is shining and the sky is painted with a soft blue palette that has been obscured by clouds for days. Yesterday, snow fell in large, fluffy conglomerations that stuck to surfaces and created slick sheets of ice. As I was out walking this week, noting the beauty of ice crystals on the bushes along the street, I also spotted the quickening of spring beginning to show in the branches of trees and bushes I passed.

The color is returning to the newest sections of tree branches. The buds are visibly fuller. Things are moving below the surface–sap moving from nourishing roots into the trunks and sooner than I can even believe, the trees will be blooming, leafing out, and another summer will be here.

This will be my first spring in Maine. I am excited to see the changing of the seasons here, especially given the thick blankets of snow that December and January delivered. I feel pretty satisfied with the winter this year–normally, I feel like I need more time to go inward, more time to relax and reflect, but this year, I think I will be ready to emerge from the dark just in time. I am already feeling the spark of light as days slowly lengthen. I am thinking about my garden, which I cannot even see right now for the snow. I do what all gardeners do…dream of green in the midst of winter. Today feels like a perfect day to look at seed catalogs and do a little drawing to plan my planting. It is nice to have that luxury this year. Last year, I knew I wouldn’t be able to tend what I planted. I planted greens, and got to enjoy lots of salads and wildcrafted nettles before leaving my shared garden in Philadelphia to move to Maine. When I got here, I threw seeds in the ground wherever I could make them grow, planted pots of tomatoes, and hoped that I had made it in time. I got a remarkable yield for such haphazard planting, but that is mostly due to the amazing sun we got here last summer, and the resilient nature of plants themselves. They do pretty well without my intervention, which is why I plant everything close together and give them support by creating guilds. I am really looking forward to the upcoming permaculture trainings I’ll be taking this year so that I can become even more in tune to the natural cycle of things and do as much mimicry as possible in the little rented plot I have here.

Tomorrow, the snow returns, and I will go back to my dreaming of planting.

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