The spring issues of Victoria magazine invite me to a world of lovely gardens, flowers, trickling streams, potting sheds, and seasonal entertaining. This is my favorite magazine, and the photos and articles within make me long to walk through my own garden, sip wine on my porch, and rejoice with the unfolding of each new spring blossom. Today is March 15; we are a week from spring, but the view from my window is one of snow, ice, and starkness.
March is seldom a pretty month in the Northeast -- snow melts, mud abounds, new snow falls, temperatures rise, teasing of spring, and then plummet once again. March winds can bring a soft warm breath of spring one day, and a frigid bite the next. It is a transitional month and carries frustration on its breezes.
My most vivid childhood memory of March is of finally being able to hang laundry outside on the clothesline, instead of from ropes crisscrossing our dark, spidery basement. As we gathered the "dry" laundry from the clothesline at the end of the afternoon, the scent of fresh air was a tonic for our winter-weary souls. Often the laundry itself was more frozen than dry, but how we loved bringing its fresh scent into the house, even though our fingers were often numb by the time we finished.
This winter has been a particularly long, snowy season. Usually by mid-March I am uncovering the last bits of snow from my little patch of snowdrops, and sometimes able to remove the leaf mulch from most of the garden beds. Today, though, the snowdrops still lie under several inches of snow. I have enjoyed the beauty of this winter -- I love the deep stillness of falling snow, the sparkle of sunlight on a fresh snowfall, and the beauty of moonlight casting shadows on a world of white. However, enough is enough!!
I am anxiously awaiting that moment when I can begin my gardening chores. A knee injury last year kept me from caring properly for my gardens, so I have much work to do this year. As I browse through the pages of Victoria, I am planning changes here and there -- moving a few plants, planting more wildflower seeds near the bird feeder, adding new herbs, cleaning out my garden shed so it resembles more closely a little potting shed. There is so much inspiration and I am impatient to be outside again to nurture and enjoy my little plot of land. The birds are singing their hearts out as I write -- a chorus of songs speaking of spring. Maybe the second half of March will finally transform our bleak landscape, and spring will at last be here. We are almost there -- I am waiting for the first whiff of lilacs floating on the morning air.
"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the
assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after the winter."