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It's sunny, almost 35 degrees, and they say it will be climbing into the upper 50s later this week.  Yesterday I saw nearly 20 Robin Redbreasts in the kitchen garden, flitting about, apparently finding food on the surface of the snow. And this morning, while driving the backroads, I heard on the radio a warning about bears in the region, who reportedly are waking early and searching for food--take in your birdfeeders, people.

Last week we got about a foot of snow, which remains blindingly white, and hard-crusted.  Even though it disrupted some of my plans, I was deeply grateful for the snowfall.  Not only because it promised much-needed eventual moisture for the gardens, but also because it meant that it was winter, still.  At least for a few more days...

I do not remember ever wanting the winter to linger as I have this year.  I paced through the unsettling warmth of January and February, wishing for snow, snarling at the brown dead grass, and fretting about the unseasonable temperatures.  After the giant snowfall (maybe 18"?) in late October (and the devastating hurricane of August), the absence of snow this winter seems to confirm that our seasons are all twisted up, and that I should be prepared for another blizzard in May.  Wouldn't surprise me now.

It's distressing, this tumultuousness, this inability to count on dividing lines between seasons.  I worry about our being able to reliably produce food in an increasingly uncertain climate.  Bad timing to have a new passion for growing food, as it appears to be headed for an even more challenging future. 

In the face of this reality, I am chagrined to find myself resisting the calendar, trying to deny the fact that it's March already.  Wishing that somehow it was still January, that we had 8 more weeks of winter ahead.  I should be excited to start celery, parsley, and onion seeds, but I'm dragging my feet.  I'd rather sit by the woodstove and read a book.

I know that part of this longing arises from the sheer busy-ness of this winter--I want to hibernate still.  It's been an incredibly busy couple of months--December was consumed by a big vacation (learning to ski!), and the holidays.  January was also intense--I joined a writing group and began a new health regimen, and Anne was in the throes of deciding whether to take a new job and to leave NYC.  And then in the first three weeks of February, her decision was made, and we had to find a moving company and a new storage unit, pack, and vacate our apartment.  In the midst of all this, there were seeds to order, beans and corn to shell, and dried peppers to grind.  The winter went too fast.  And people wonder what farmers do all winter...

But, in the end, no amount of resistance or desire for rest changes today's date, or the fact that it takes a long time to germinate celery and parsley seeds, and even longer to get those little plants sturdy enough to be planted outside.  I've got to start now, even if I'm not ready to go.  At least it's bright outside, clear blue and shimmering white...

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Reader Comments (1)

i too am procrastinating on starting some seeds. good to procrastinate in fellowship. usually it's a lonely task.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Shure

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