The air has a slightly different feel to it. A different scent. The cold is still there. I bundle up as I go out to do chores. But there is a tinge of something else upon the morning breath. Life. Spring. By all indications, it is still the dead of winter, but I sense it. I sense the pulse of the earth strengthening and the awakening of the plant world beneath it all. Spring is coming.
My home is still in the dead of winter. Warm blankets caress chairs and the furnace is on. The sun shines like a spotlight through the closed windows, still low in the sky. My spirit falls more easily into stress and I long to be in the garden. To be outside with a book without wind chill. What to do? The only thing I can do is to introduce notes of spring into the house.
Plants always infuse spring and life into a place. These are the babies from my very large aloe. Last week I transplanted them into a new pot. Its wide berth lets them spill out and catch the sun, giving a warm desert feel to this corner. The cheap pots at Walmart are usually my go-to. I love their cheery celadon, rouge, and artist blue colors, but sometimes it is nice to get a special pot that reminds you of something you love. In this case, the land of the southwest where my heart and inspiration dance.
It still gets dark out early so candles are still throughout the house. These Catholic prayer candles sans saints are perfect and long lasting. I used an old Coca-Cola crate to hold them.
Found bird nests and unique pieces of wood and stone are set carefully around the house to bring nature in.
My Farmhouse sign (bought at Cracker Barrel of all places!) doesn’t have a place on the wall right now because I have all my own bright paintings up but it seems cheery on the floor against the wall amongst the geraniums and other plants.
I seem to collect things with bicycles on them. Bicycles with baskets. I love the idea of them. I love the freedom of them. The perk of being in the city. The promise of warm breezes and exercise and French bread in the basket picked up from the bakery or fresh flowers. I have coffee cups with bicycles with baskets that say things like “Do More of What Makes You Happy.” My daughter, Shyanne, gave me a small bicycle statue. So Doug gave me a bike for my birthday last year. With a basket. I only rode it a few times before the tires were inundated with goat heads. But a kind friend came over three different times to fix my tires, fill them with fix a flat, put on my basket and other accouterments (a bell included!) and I am ready to take off on the first nice day without Nordic winds. The bike had a place on the porch but I brought it in. It adds notes of spring and whimsy to my living room.
Lastly, I picked up a snazzy pair of bright galoshes. Oh, spring, I hope to see you soon!
Thrilling. I gave away my bike six years after moving to the country. Busy highway thoroughfares and dirt roads and small towns with steep hills don’t make for good leisure driving. This time last year we were checking on pregnant does and watching our chickens taking dust baths on such a beautiful day as this. I find myself whirring down the old bike trail I use to traverse. Ghosts of my children and their friends playing by the creek greet me and a familiarity welcomes me.
We lived in Parker a long time before moving to the country. We rode our bikes with our young children down the Cherry Creek Trail more times than I can remember and it all comes rushing back as the wind blows through my hair. I greet the mullein stalks, dormant, and the prairie dogs that chirp in the warm air. The blackbirds have returned and even though winter still holds court, the river flows free and clear and the vast blue sky sings of spring.
It feels good to be pedaling this contraption. I feel youth and vibrancy. A break before our dinner party. I roll past tall reeds and rushing water and breathe. My new ride. This is just too fun.
I put the kettle on. I am oddly consoled flipping the switch to turn on the fireplace. The sound of the dryer after nine years naught reverberates softly. I sip tea and watch the moon drift silently away above the rose hued mountain top in the early morning dawn. What shall I do now in my third floor apartment looking over the city blocks and the glorious mountain range? There are no chickens to tend to. No young lambs following on my skirts. No goats in need of milking. No ducks swimming in their icy pond. What shall we do?
I positively glow at the sight of my kitchen. It is a beautiful, large expanse of creative space waiting for dinner parties and garnishes. For finishing touches of truffle salt and a sip of local Cabernet. It calls for melting butter and the smell of homemade bread. It speaks of decades of cookbooks and articles, of sustenance and my internal need to cook. Nay, create. Cooking is meatloaf every Tuesday. I have never made the same thing twice. I can be the entranced chef I long to be and still be in bed by nine.
There are community gardens close by. My bicycle and basket yet to be purchased await and I can already feel the breeze against my warmed cheek as the summer sun heats the pavement as I whir past the buildings. Fresh produce overflows my carrier. I am planning a traditional Cherokee garden complete with language. Sacred sunflowers, the three sisters….more. Agaliha. Selu. Watsigu.
What shall we do here in our third floor apartment? Let’s cook. Let’s be chefs and farmers, shall we? Let’s preserve. Let’s not just can corn; let’s make relishes and marmalades and chutneys and more. Let’s create.
What’s that old saying? I think I have quoted it a time or two, Grow Where Planted!