Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lady Spring

Slumbering in a cozy hollow, Spring is resting peacefully somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she's been biding her time since the early spell of warm weather tempted her to move north from the coasts of the Caribbean.

Despite the groundhog's rare prognostication of her early arrival, it seems she's longing to stay hidden from the wintry weather that's lingering over the eager hyacinths and snowdrops that are budding in the hollows.  Each morning she peeks timidly over the ridge to look northward toward the Appalachians of Pennsylvania where I make my home.  Soon she'll advance from her slumbering nest to kiss the ground with warmth and spread her breath over the early flowers coaxing them, ever so gently, from their chilly winter beds. But, as temperatures oscillate between the teens and low thirties, she is dillydallying in the glens, dancing with anticipation, until her internal clock tells her the day has come to meander further north, gently but firmly driving winter's chill before her steady advance.  As the Earth's axis travels on its spinning path bringing our neck of the woods closer to the sun, Spring gains strength from the sun's warmth and determination from its promise to come ever closer for a spell.

Here in Pennsylvania, the stark beauty comes alive with the sun as the birds begin to flitter about greedily looking for a morsel or seed to gobble quickly before the squirrels find it. The winter snows and ice have melted, watering the frozen earth; leaving behind a muddy reminder of their sojourn in these parts.  Plants and bulbs begin to yawn and stretch.  The sap has begun to flow and the sugar maples to ooze their sweet spring elixir, beckoning us to share in the bounty of their natural sugar stores.  Tantalizing thoughts of syrup and sugar-on-snow draw us into the forest to collect this precious sap which will yield jars of sticky goodness as we huddle around the warmth of the steaming evaporator.  Pussywillows prepare for their early spring display of soft, pale beauty that lasts but a few weeks as it blesses our early trips to the chilly waters of native trout streams.

To live here, in this place, is to know all the seasons in their glory.  The advent of April showers that herald the reawakening of life as witnessed in the heady scents and uplifting displays of a plethora of May flowers.  The sun's heat that grows in intensity through the months of June and July encouraging the gardens to bring forth an abundance of harvest in the often sweltering dog days of August.  The cooler nights of September that begin to harden the soft fruits that grace the orchards which bless us with fall fruits by the bushel before the crisp nips of frost turn the leaves into a glorious painting of glowing yellows, reds and oranges in the midst of October.  As the leaves fall and colors slowly begin to fade, the chill deepens and November prepares for a chance of snow just in time for Thanksgiving and the highly anticipated and proclaimed holiday of the first day of deer season.  The month that follows is a whirlwind of activity as the holiday season is fast upon us with the hanging of the greens and wishes for a white Christmas heavy on our minds as December brings the year nearly to its end.  The last week of the calendar year, although bustling with holiday activities, is a time for contemplation and thoughtful plans for renewed interests and revisited resolutions either fulfilled or awaiting a new determination.  The depths of winter, in my little hollow, hit hardest shortly after the New Year begins and dawdle here throughout January and February when the famous groundhog peeks timidly from his den to determine if an end of the frigid, frosty weather is near or still some distance in the future.  Either way, March is a time of transition, the resting and rejuvenating is at it's end and lo, Spring is fast on her way!

It's a good day to get outdoors in anticipation of the warming just ahead. And the awakening of the earth that will accompany Spring as she floats over the mountains and finds me here...watching and waiting...still pondering my meanderings.

Much herbal love,
~Sharon

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post! Today feels like spring, but we will have several more snowstorms before spring arrives in all its glory.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Alea
    Thanks, Alea. We had a warm day today, too...but we still must have the onion snow and the garlic snow at least!

    ReplyDelete

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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.