In Maine, what a difference a week can make. The snow is nearly gone from the backyard, and we can see the garden and some of the patio. The area by the clothesline is free, and I long to start washing blankets so that I can hang them outside.
“Not quite yet,” Clif has advised. “The ground is still too soft, and the weight of the blankets will pull the line over.”
He is right, of course, and I’ll hold off washing the blankets for another few weeks. But now and then, I look longingly out the window at the line.
Yesterday, in an extreme case of Pushing the Season, Clif and I went outside and mucked around for a bit. I mean this literally. Our shoes left footprints in the mud, and where it was shady—this includes the whole front yard—we left footprints in snow that is as soft as a coconut slushy.
I had originally gone out to pick up sticks in the backyard. When you live in the woods, there are always a fair number that fall during the winter. I gather them and put them in a large garbage can, and we use them in the firepit in the summer.
The ground was really too soft for this chore, but Clif soon found another that was more appropriate. That is, removing usable wood that had been trimmed by the power company and left in an untidy clump in our front yard. While he was at it, he brought out the ladder and sawed some branches that were hanging too low. We saved what we could use, and the rest I hauled into the woods, where I made a little brush pile for the creatures who live there.
All in all, we spent a good couple of hours at our task, and when we were done, the front yard looked much better. We came in with wet feet and a sense of accomplishment. I popped some popcorn and we settled in the living room to read and to eat our snack. The dog, who had been supervising outside, jumped on the couch so that he, too, could have some buttered popcorn. All was snug and cozy.
I’m going to conclude with a wood metaphor. Going out on a limb, I’m predicting that winter is over, and we are on the cusp of mud season, early spring in Maine. The days are ever so much longer, and yesterday I heard our resident cardinal singing his spring song.
Naturally, this winter I did not accomplish anywhere near as much as I wanted with my inside chores—the perpetual cleaning and decluttering. Never mind! On bad days I will work on those projects. Right now, I am itching to be outside, even if it’s only to muck about in the yard.
Of course, Mother Nature might give us one her little surprise March snowstorms, which will cover all the bare ground and make everything even wetter and soggier. But the snow won’t last long.
Spring is edging her way in, and how welcome she is.