One year ago this week we were just beginning to learn about the pandemic sweeping the world. Our lives were interrupted, changed, upended as we began to navigate through our daily lives with a potentially deadly virus on the loose. I remember the irony of watching spring unfold around us as we hunkered down in lockdown, unable to leave our homes, go to work, or function in any normal pattern.
This year, the irony is in watching the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths decrease and the number of vaccinated people increase as my brother continues to lay in a hospital bed fighting this disease, a full and tragic 31 days on life support. And yet, as he remains immobile and dependent on machines and medical professionals, life is erupting all around me. Our little homestead is coming out of the restful darkness of winter into a bright green and growing spring.
Each morning we walk the property, looking for every sign of new growth (and cursing the damage done to the tender roots of some of our plants by voles during the winter months). In spite of their rabid appetites, we still have many perennials leafing out, sprouting, and otherwise showing signs of life. We’ve also started prepping our vegetable gardens and are noticing insects beginning to fly and crawl around us. We saw a fritillary butterfly near the creek and then a blue azure near the house this week. Other flying insects are hovering above the water. Flat-backed millipedes and earthworms are abundant near the surface of the gardens. Tiny speedwell and violets, henbit and bluets are showing up along roadsides and in yards.
The birds are equally excited about spring. Our yard has been full of robins lately. The bluebirds continue to land on our doors and windows and check out the nest boxes. The cardinals, phoebes, finches, chickadees, and titmice are singing their spring mating songs and vying for nesting sites all over the yard.
The daffodils we planted in the fall are popping up and beginning to flower. Our flower and vegetable starts are growing. I put the onion starts in the ground this week and planted peas and turnip and radish seeds. While we wait for them to grow, we munch on the abundant edible wild greens that nature offers us – chickweed, wild onions, cresses.
As the sun moves higher in the sky and the daylight hours lengthen, I am grateful for the warmth of the sun, the dark skies and bright stars, the flowers and the predictable patterns of life that teach me of cycles and seasons and events beyond my control. I cannot predict nor control the fate of my brother. But I can be in this moment, fully engaged with this place, this space, the people who surround me, and appreciate the joys of being here now. In the circle of seasons, spring gives us hope, and I hope that you are enjoying the bounty of spring wherever you are in this moment.
Tell me what you are seeing in your spring space right now.