11 March 2008

the time's they are a changing

The season of spring has sprung here in the California valley. Her whispered promises, barely louder than a dream's breath during the cold grip of winter, are gaining strength as witnessed by the lengthening tendrils of daylight each day. The longer minutes of daylight trigger transformations in nature for both flora and fauna. These changes are what we look forward to each spring. Here, I share a few of my favorite spring happenings.

  • Birds are returning, their songs marking a rekindling of courtships and setting up house. Nesting "stash" is disappearing from the bundle I have hanging in a tree. Somewhere there are embellished nests lined with assorted strands of fine wool and alpaca as well as natural cotton batting.
  • White and pink clouds seem to surround trees and bushes as the blossoms explode in pollination competition. Planted by the city in long linear lines, they brighten up streets like a flowered runway for cars.
  • The sight of buds foreshadowing new growth are expanding, swelling, popping open with tender, shiny new leaves. The oak, having bravely held onto its long-spent leaves of last year, will soon begin shedding them, turning the tree from brown to green. The ground, cleaned of fallen leaves months before, will again be blanketed with the crisp brown leaves.
  • Windows are being washed of the dust, grime, and gloom of winter, allowing the warm rays of sun to come inside. On especially nice days, windows are opened to blow out the staleness of winter, replacing the fragrances of winter with sweetness of lemon and jasmine blossoms.
  • Taking our meals outside. Morning coffee, a light cloud of steam rising above the rim of the cup as the still-cool air meets the heated liquid, with a breakfast of toast and fresh strawberries. The back warmed by the first rays of the sun. Evening conversation with dinner. Fresh salad greens from the garden dotted with beets, jicama slivers, kidney beans, oranges slices, crumbled aged cheese, and balsamic vinegar are good partners with something on the barbecue.
  • The smell of rosemary in the fur of the cat after he's been on "guerrilla maneuvers", hiding and blending into the environment watching the birds, causes me to give him an extra hug.
  • The slightly musty smell of the soil being turned for planting, as well as the sighting of worms, points to a promising growing season.
  • Flannel sheets, wonderful on the dark, colder nights, holding in heat, wrapping one in a soft cocoon, are tucked away in the back of the closet. Preferring a lighter touch in the warm months, cotton sheets, which provide a cool smooth surface, are given front-of-the-closet status. I like to stretch out on these cotton sheets, experiencing the contrast of the crisp chill against my warm hand or leg.
  • Priority status for clothes are also visited. Wool and alpaca sweaters are replaced with light cotton t-shirts and three-quarter-sleeved shirts, long pants with capris, shoes with sandals.
  • The last trimester of school has begun. I like to spend a little time reflecting on the changes of the students over the last seven months. There is marked growth--they are taller, wiser, more confident--which we celebrate in the classroom.

1 comment:

Gotta Knit! said...

Morning coffee sitting outside! The noise you hear is me smacking my forehead.


Annie (my standard poodle) loves to stand in our huge butterfly bush or stick her snout in the rosemary bushes.