A week’s respite from the intensity of spring semester; I am getting time for real life.
This morning, as I write, the sun is warm on my back through the glass door to the deck. Recently, it’s been high enough in the sky to clear the ridgeline behind us, so the corral is in sun till late afternoon, and it’s light enough to work outside till nearly seven and later each day. This time of year sneaks up on us—but all seasons do in the north; they’re so extreme and transition so quickly. Now, during this fallow week, I planned to get out every day to work with Mattie and Sam, but it’s Wednesday already, and I’ve only been out with them twice, and I can already feel the week slipping away.
On the shelf by the south-facing window are this year’s seeds, sorted by planting date, and stored in those clear plastic shells that cinnamon rolls from Lulu’s come home in. Yesterday, I washed the old flats from the greenhouse, and today I will plant the first seeds of the year: Chianti Rose, Pompeii Roma, Sungold, and Camp Joy tomatoes. Later in the week, I’ll plant the Little Prince eggplant—trying over on an unsuccessful experiment from last year. Although the ground will be covered with snow till well into April or, if we get a few good March snowstorms, May, my mind is full of the joy of green things to come.
I imagine lettuce—I plant a cutting mix and a red and green romaine mix—the speckled leaves, the russet leaves, the frilled and smooth leaves, glowing as the sun slants through them in the evening. I imagine pulling carrots—I’m trying King Midas this year, a long variety, with the horses in mind. I miss the taste of them, sweet, with just a hint of garden grit with the crunch of the root.
Mattie and Sam still stand in the sun each morning to warm their coats—it was fifteen below this morning. In the afternoon, it will warm above zero and I’ll head out to groom them and do some longeing and groundwork. I imagine I’m working them towards fitness for summer, but know that the weather, the cold, the packed snow melting in April to a dangerous slickness, the work ahead to finish the semester will all compete with my intentions toward them. We have an ambitious lesson and clinic schedule set up for summer, including a three day Centered Riding clinic. Between now and May, they need to be fit enough to take hour long lessons and the trail rides I hope to go on. And so do I.
So, now, I’m on the couch, Jeter the poodle curled on his end, writing this instead of grooming, longeing, planting, dancing. The sun has moved farther along the window now. On NPR, there’s a discussion on the role of poetry in our lives in the 21st century. There’s more coffee to drink. Spring is still a dream, but a lovely dream. We gather our energy now for the work ahead.