I am wading through the end of a March tamed to the hand as gentle as a lamb. The sunny days and balmy weather have finally shown a tantalizing glimpse of spring green though it is still overshadowed by the morning frost. Early shoots show the ravages of an icy morning’s bite in the white that lays heavy on the lawn at dawn mimicking the snow of less than a week ago. The season of Lent, a time of sacrifice and penance, heralds the rebirth of faith and everlasting life. But until that resurrection the year is breached and the world is caught. We wade through the thick purgatory of a breath before the change. Like all anticipations, the minutes are drawn out in excruciating increments.
I am reading to pass the time, averaging a book every day and a half depending on the author and the length. Though the hour hand pushes through January molasses I refuse to waste even a gingerbread bite on banal, trite and overly dramatic volumes. Two Gregory Maguire’s are devoured, quickly washed down by a beautiful light touch. For the next hour or so I will be immersed in Gabriel Marquez’s Memories of My Melancholy Whores. It is the perfect story for this time of year, this span of days coloured by the fasting that marks an end and an everlasting beginning. An old man finds love at the end of his life. A young girl steps into the beginning of who she will be. Winter embraces the spring and releases the months into summer or so the synopsis promises. I’ll have to wait and see.
I am watching for my seeds to sprout. Any day now the small green tendrils will break the uneven covering of potting soil packed into the old raisin containers that I’ve saved over the winter dreaming my floral perfumed dreams. Planted indoors, weeks before the last frost they wait to find a place under the summer blue skies. It’s time to gather up the host of pine cones that litter the ground underneath the spruce and white pines. The wood pile, a carrion collection of limbs bark covered and white bone broken torn in the rage of winter, challenges the height of the shed. That heap only awaits a windless night, a spirit warmed company and a match to lay it to rest.
I almost waited too long to bring in my wreath from the front door. Last year we had two birds build and raise families in the shelter of our front porch. The babies were adorable but it was stressful for the mother when company came to ring the bell and the bird shit was hell on the stoop. I brought the wreath in yesterday with just the foundation of a nest built. I hate to destroy anyone’s hard work but it is for the best in the long run.
The lilac bushes are budding and the snowdrops are giving way to crocuses. The out flung arms of daffodils and tulips stretch overhead to break the soil after a long winter’s rest. The winter wheat shows green and crisp against the furrowed acres of umber fields. The grass still sleeps in golden dreams showing no faith in the promise of an approaching sun. I sit, hip deep in books and a mild impatience. I am waiting for the smell of fresh grass and the feel of wet dirt crusting under my nails. I am waiting for the limning of the lines of my heart and life in stark contrast to the white of my palms. I am waiting for one life to end and another to begin here at the end of bittersweet March…marking the transition in words, memories and time.