Since I have been a stay at home mom, I have had more time to notice things like the seasons. When I was working I, A) Normally left home before daybreak for my hour-long drive to Wilsonville B) Worked in a cubicle in an office building with no windows and C) Was able to see the weather on my drive home, but I was usually so pre-occupied with 280 afternoon traffic that I didn’t notice. So, now that I have a little girl who lives to be in the fresh air, I find myself the happy recipient of everyday weather. With each new season, I have found something to delight in. This “in-between winter and spring” season I thought would surely be different. What is there to delight in about this gray, sluggish time of year? Usually I wish this time away, anxious to feel sunlight’s warmth on my skin and to see buds timidly opening their blooms (even 280 traffic can’t keep a person from noticing those first majestic days when spring arrives).

Here we are, in season limbo, and I am loving it! I can almost feel the anticipation of the trees. They look dead and dormant, but the energy within is contagious….They’re getting ready for their biggest production of the year, and the only hints they are giving are their velvet covered buds. Then there are the plants, that grow from bulbs, that show their glory at this time of year. I have already bragged on the daffodils, but I saw some very sweet Lilly of the Valley, with their graceful white bonnets, bowing humbly to the ground. If I were a gardener, I am sure I could name several more of the showy flowers, but I am not a gardener, so here my ability is limited. Finally, there is the spontaneity of the weather itself. One day, Pace and I are bundled up in sweaters and stockings (Pace in the stockings, not me. I know some of you are worried I’ve morphed into Little House on the Prairie), the next I am stripping her clothes off so that she can play in the sun and the mud. One evening we huddle together in front of the fire and the next we leave the door open so the breezes can blow through. The change itself is invigorating.

So, I challenge you to pick your least favorite time of year (this was mine) and look for the beauty in it. God left no season without her own special charms!

All the ground was covered with grass of wintry brown and out of it grew clumps of bushes which were surely rose bushes if they were alive. There were numbers of standard roses which had so spread their branches that they were like little trees. There were other trees in the garden, and one of the things which made the place look strangest and loveliest was that climbing roses had run all over them and swung down long tendrils which made light swaying curtains, and here and there they had caught at teach other at a far-reaching branch and had crept from one tree to another and made lovely bridges of themselves. There were neither leaves nor roses on them now and Mary did not know whether they were dead or alive, but their thin gray or brown branches and sprays looked like a sort of hazy mantle spreading over everything,…

It was this hazy tangle from tree to tree which made it all look so mysterious….

“How still it is!” she whispered. “How still!”… “Will there be roses?” she whispered. “Can you tell? I thought perhaps they were all dead. “

“Eh! No! Not them–not all of ’em!” he answered. “Look here!”
He stepped over to the nearest tree–and old, old one with gray lichen all over its bark, but upholding a curtain of tangled sprays and branches. He took a thick knife out of his pocket and opened one of its blades.

There’s lots ‘o dead wood as ought to be cut out,” he said. “An’ there’s a lot ‘o old wood, but it made some new last year. This here’s a new bit,” and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray.

Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.

“That one?” she said. “Is that one quite alive–quite?”

Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.

“It’s as wick as you or me,” he said; and Mary remembered that Martha had told her that “wick” meant “alive” or “lively.”

The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett

One Response to “Anticipating Spring”

  1. Chris says:

    I love the post Abby…i really love this time of the year because all the leaves are gone and the terrain of the land that you cannot normally see shows itself in the distance. I can feel the energy!!! Thanks for the fabulous meal. Ohh, another one of my favorite books is Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series. It’s actually 20 books, but his writing is incredible. I’ll bring a couple of his books over for you sometime. His use of the language of the early 1800’s is phenomenal.

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