spring gratitude

 April 19. I’ve never been so thankful for dreary weather. The cold drizzle slows time just enough to allow for planting flats of lettuce, basil, greens, tomatoes, peppers – and then there’s the luxury of weeding carrot and beet beds in the hoophouse to the patter of tiny raindrops on the plastic roof. Not to mention truly winter activities like reading. …I stop writing this long enough to get a savory custard into the oven. Another boon of the season is the surplus of eggs too dirty to sell, trampled in the nests by muddy hen feet, so I’m experimenting with custards. This one features mushrooms gathered yesterday in the fallow beds of the cathedral (the biggest hoophouse). Some kind of Agaricus, substantial and delicious and producing all winter. By the time I’ve sautéed them, and beaten the eggs and cream and fresh oregano I dig out from under the fallen tree debris just outside the door, actual sun is streaming in the east window. Dawn’s solid grey sky has opened into a patchwork of blue and white, with the clouds looking more innocent and poofy by the minute. Stepping outside, I can feel the warmth already.

fritillaria2011
Maybe it comes from the raw open-hearted state that is the core of grieving, I don’t know, but this year I feel the shifts of the season with no mediation. My emotions are the weather. The sun is out, so I make a joyful pilgrimage around the farm, checking on the budding Trillium under the oaks, the buttercups beginning to open in the still-waterlogged meadow. Fritillaria meleagris, the improbable native checker lily, planted four years ago from bulbs started and encouraged by Dorothy, has truly naturalized and has more blooms than ever. I stop to take even more photos of it, on my way to the hoophouses to crank open their sides before too much heat gathers inside. 
By the time I get back to the house the clouds have closed up the sky again. What a relief to feel slightly more contained, to eat custard and sort through flower seeds to plant.