There are those among us who have endured an unusual winter of steady, deep cold and white and now look at the turning of the calendar page as magical. Not so Theresa who serves at the local bakery café. “March is mean.”, was served with my coffee this morning. She’s right, that is the history here. No magic March will happen this year either; the forecast continues for bitter cold and more snow to come. No magic acts here, at least not the kind that folks want, of disappearing coats and hats and snow shovels.
Ada came again after I heard that Clark wasn’t at all well. She wanted to tell me what I didn’t want to hear, she would get to meet him soon. And so she did. So again, I’m telling myself a story, if you’d like to listen in… Ada is speaking.
Hi Mom. I know you, crying your eyes out, but blow your
noes nose, dry your eyes and try to listen up. I want to let you in on what’s happening here, there has been so much kittie chatting! I’m sure I’m going to like Clark. he seems like such a cozy, gentle friend.
Sasha wanted to meet Clark, she thought it would be best. I think The Best Cat Ever just wants to be in charge here. ha-ha! She really hasn’t been here very long so we all just love on her. What stories she has had to tell! Well, you might imagine, we are ready for an update on Our Girl!
Here they come now…go on Maggie, don’t be shy, your brother Clark is here now! Max – just chill – no herding Clark just yet! Isn’t it great, Merlin, to see all your housemates together again? Oh, yes, I forgot about Phoenix for the moment (although how could I?) Yes, yes, you remember I told you about meeting him at Mom’s house. I’m sure I will recognize him… Hello, Coal! Strawberry! Haven’t seen you in some time, welcome!
Now, we’ll all be in a down/stay/tuck in paws until Sasha finishes introductions; I’ll wait till last.
Hello, Clark! So glad to meet you! I know we are going to be best friends! You just wait and see! What’s that Sasha? He’s bringing news, well of course he is! Mabel? You left Our Girl in Mabel’s paws? Well now, that is excellent news! How delightful that there is a new pet in the house. Long-hair, you say? Wonderful! Not that you short-hairs are not attractive, no, no, not at all! But we long-haired girls and guys do have our good points. (You may not know that Ada was a bit vain about her wonderfully curly topknot and tail.) I’m distracted – what’s that? What’s that! A ring! Bling! (Ada is jumping and twirling) How exciting! I’m so fond of a little bling for a girl!
Ok, sorry Clark, I’ll settle down. We want to hear everything, almost 14 years with Our Girl – remarkable from what I’ve heard about your eating habits…plastic bags, blankets, sheets, my, my…
But we want to know more about the ring. Sasha told us about “him”; plays the guitar, let her nap in its case, let you stick yourself to his leg…
Her happy voice fades from me and the curtain slides back into place on the peaceable kingdom.
At the end of our Christmas visit to Longwood, I found an enchanting book ion display in the shop, Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo. I was taken in by the photograph on the cover and leafing through the pages, I knew this was a book for me. Robert LLewellyn has transformed photography to open my eyes to wonder. When I settled in with her prose I was not disappointed. Then, I had the opportunity to hear Mrs. Hugo speak a few weeks ago between ice and snow storms. It was so fun to be taken into her passion and joy for the wonder that is a tree. Taking advantage of the season, I had been looking at bark on some trees in the yard.
After reading about the American Sycamore and learning that this tree likes to follow along watercourses, I went looking for them. The soughing off of the old bark reveals their startling white beauty in the winter barrenness and makes them easy to spot in the landscape. Beautiful!
The Snow Moon will shine tonight. Whether or not we will see it or just more falling snow is still unknown. There was much snow this week; much more than I cared to shovel. But shovel we do. Dig out the heat pump and shovel a path to the bird feeders. Then there is the driveway to consider. Normally we don’t consider it too much any more; Joe plows for us. Except when his rig breaks down, like it did yesterday morning leaving us with 14 inches or so to contemplate today. So we shoveled and chopped ice and made phone calls and repeated the process. Then the phone rang and our new neighbor offered to come with his tractor. Such blessed relief!
Today I learned the proverb, “St Valentine brings the keys of roots.” Within it is the thought that this is the day when plants start growing. Last week I noticed a slight swelling of the magnolia buds and I found this… a snowdrop! It is now blanketed with deep snow but its bravery was a sign of the earth dreaming Spring!
…”and what will the birdies do then, the poor things…” an old camp song goes through my mind… be sure to drag out loooong. Yesterday with everything covered in ice, they foraged at the feeders, sought shelter under the shrubbery or just sat on ice covered branches thinking bird thoughts.
Melt will come and the work will begin to clean up all the cold, hard sad.
The birds were happy this was not the branch that holds their feeder; we are happy it did not fall on the house itself although it certainly woke us up when it hit.That mound of icy greenery totally hides the shed. From every window and door we see piles of winter storm prunings to be gathered up.
I don’t really collect stats on weather or seasons in my life. I do remember cold winters and snow and ice winters but this one does seem relentless. Heavy rain in the night turned to rain and snow and sleet and left a coat of the heaviest kind to be pushed and shoveled.
But it was very beautiful and perhaps it was that beauty and the slightly perceptible lengthening of daylight that was energizing. I enjoyed creative time in the kitchen and we were delighted to share our muffins with the man who plowed and then helped to shovel, too! God bless Joe!