Not Far Off!

Very ready for shearing!

Very ready for shearing!

It really isn’t that far off…….spring, the nursery opening, the gardens flourishing……the lawn needing mowing (O.k., that’s going too far….we’re still a ways off from that). Though we still have a pile of snow to watch disappear, everyday we see significant melting. Oh, this is promising! This week we start sowing seeds, checking over the list of plants that will be available in the nursery this season, putting together a list of the classes we’ll be offering. Several hypertufa classes, for sure. A class on bee keeping. A native plant lecture. Just to name a few. We’ll be tapping the maple trees this weekend, we hear the sap is running fairly well at the moment. I must make a date for the sheep shearer to come, certainly before those ravens get all of their wool! More lambs are expected, pigs and meat birds will arrive in another month. Amazing how quickly our days start filling up. The sunshine and the slow melting, the idea of bare ground and softened earth, needles us to get out and begin tidying our outdoor spaces. The barn, the chicken coop, the workshop, let’s get in there and make a difference! Just the same, an urge to organize all the winter clutter inside the house feels deeply necessary. A new coat of paint on the front room’s floor. Let’s surely wash all the windows! Who piled all this stuff in the mudroom? All of this makes me think of a poem written by one of my favorite poets, Kate Barnes. I’ll share it with you.

The House Asleep
By day my house says to me, “Clean me, clean me!”
The compost bucket growls, “Put on your boots,
get ready for the trek out through the snow.”
The rug cries for the vacuum cleaner, the floor
says, “Sweep me, and now please wash me, I want a pure soul.”

But at night, once I have turned out all the lights,
I can’t go to sleep, I have to wander around,
like a ghost, through the warm rooms of my sleeping house.
I put a stick of birch in on the ashes
and something begins to whisper in the stove,
but I can’t quite hear the words.

The traveling moon,
almost full, looks down from above the roof
to the white hills, she walks silently
over the corn fields. The house is filled
with her milky blue fire, three times reflected,
through which I wander in my white nightgown
brushing past the rose geranium leaves.
Suddenly the guitar hanging on the wall
speaks by itself. One string gives a loud twang,
and then it is all silence again, and light,
the smell of the leaves, the wordless dreams of the house.

Well, off to do some tidying up…inside or out, it needs to be done. I’ll leave you with a photo of one of this years lambs…..exploring her outdoor world and finding a spring in her step! Picture 728Picture 732

8 comments on “Not Far Off!

    • Thanks Pia…yes, they are a kind and woolly bunch. I’m sure it will feel good to get those heavy fleeces off. And, oh my, more fiber to spin! Hope you are well and enjoying the return of warmer weather.

    • Hi Judy, Not sure what’s cuter than a lamb….they are always so curious when they begin going outdoors. Often they are using the adult sheep as spring boards, climbing on the backs of the adult ewes and then launching themselves off. Between the wool stealing ravens and the lambs that think they’re gymnasts, those mamas put up with a lot! Thanks for reading…it is showing signs of warmer days, don’t you think!

    • Hi Kerry,
      Yes, all of a sudden it seems we lift ourselves from our relaxed winter perch and go into a frenzy of cleaning and tidying and overall “picking up”. I think this behavior must be deeply rooted in our imprinting…..winter is for hibernating and rest, spring we do seem to come alive again with new energy and focus. Slowly here in the north woods, we are all coming out of our winter cocoon! Thank you so much for reading the blog!

  1. Wow, look at all that wool, hard to think those skinny legs can hold it all. :+) Love their expressions, they remind me of my grandmother, she was soooo patient. The house in that wonderful poem sounds like my house. Enjoy the “spring” melt.

    • Hi Molly,
      Yes, they do seem a bit weighted down, don’t they? I think they are always relieved to get those heavy inter coats off once shearing time comes. WE have something in common……I too had a very, very patient grandmother, whom I absolutely adored! Outdoors yesterday tidying up , while the weather was warm and spring like. Enjoy the coming of spring, Molly…and thanks for reading!

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