The weather on the farm has been really mild the last week after a very cold, very snowy winter season. The air is moist, full of melting snow and the ground is saturated with water. It’s an interesting time of year, an interesting feeling to the air, being in the high desert typically the air and ground is dry, except in the early spring as old man winter and jack frost make their retreat and the lady of springtime moves in. Water drips, drips, drips off the eves of the house and runs into collection barrels, or collects in swalls and hugelkulturs, making the ground soft and the mud deep. Shallow puddles collect here and there in small depressions in the ground, a tease for soon the long dry summer season will be upon us.
On of my very favorite early spring activities is playing hide and seek with the earliest of my green ones, just making their very first ventures into the mild spring air. They taunt and dare the hard freezes to come back and the snows to cover them, knowing that while there may be an attempt, the strong army of winter has retreated and will bow to the freshness of spring. I’m always amazed, that under blankets and drifts of hard cold snow, life quietly sleeps waiting for its moment.
Today I took a stroll in my orchard meadow, this little project has a special little place in my heart. It is where we have planted a variety of fruit trees creating fertility around them, not only by spreading composted material, but planting beneficial herbs, flowers and grasses at their feet. Most of my medical herbs are there, and a huge juniper tree that I lovingly call “The Mother Tree” presides over my orchard meadow, it is a place of healing, a place growing, fertility, birth and magic. I carefully looked among the roots of my darling fruit trees searching for the first signs of life, of my little herbs that are gathering strength and stretching out of a deep sleep. I was not disappointed. I found the soft feathery leaves of chamomile, the broad green of plantain, the tiniest leaves of yarrow that I had babied all last season, and of course the bold spears of daffodils making their first appearance.
I love the first quiet days of spring, before the heavy work of preparing bed and planting seeds starts, when the world wakes up and beckons me to come watch a while.