I have been heavy and had much selecting.....
This post has been a long time coming. Okay, maybe just a month. Either way, when I began thinking about all of this stuff, I wouldn't have been able to dream up a better quote - Thank You Gertrude Stein.
Spring finally gave way in May. Forget about that warm spell at the end of March - and then the snow in April. May was when Spring really came into being here.
It's odd. Being in this house 1.5 years - the winter of moving, there was 20 inches of snow on the ground. Spring came and I can't recall much about it in particular. Last winter was brown and grey, somewhat cold, but just so dismal in general. For some reason, Spring this year was a season of wonder again, more noticeable. I'm not sure why, you'd think that after the grey-white blanket of winter, green would be really noticeable. *shrug* I really can't explain it. I'm just going to waste your time, poor reader, trying to explain it, so I will stop trying.
For whatever reason, this year I didn't take the the approach of Spring for granted. I reveled in every little thing, I still do as I patiently wait for the last of the trees, their little leaf buds to ever so slowly start to creak open.
Early this Spring, before our March summer, the neighbor who owns an L-shaped parcel of land around the house, clear cut the windbreak that sheltered the West side of the house. I was not impressed. I got angry, really righteously angry, fiery sword ready to rampage.
After the anger and the grieving and frustration came the rebuilding. Or replanting. Thanks to Dad and the apiarist neighbor, there were now trees to plant. So many trees have gone in this year: 3 mulberries, 6 pink locusts, 5 scrub maples, three sugar maples, one red maple and three American Hazelnuts (not to mention close to a dozen springs of Bittersweet vine). The windbreak is lacking, but there is growth, there is potential.
May was emotionally taxing. I think I'm still paying for it in some ways. The beginning of the end of the school year started, I thought one of my dear hearts was headed to an active war zone, and another one of my dear hearts had a very difficult time dealing with the anniversary of the loss of her littlest angel. I cried, sweat and bled for many of my friends during this time. And it emotionally wiped me out.
Couple that with the frustration of the clear-cut, the feeling of violation that strikes very deeply to my soul, and the fact that many of the things that were planted did not seem to be doing well, I was not in a happy mental state. Seedlings that had started with leaves dropped them, branches felt brittle and ready to break, bigger trees started to bend. Apple trees that were in bloom early in the season were hit by cold and quickly dropping blossoms.
I'd check new plantings a couple times a week, getting more despondent and more frustrated. Less patient and more angry.
And then I really started to breathe deeply, got back to my mats (yoga and spiritual ones). I tried to be present in each moment. I re-learned how to let go of those things that weighed me down, that scared me. That intimidated me. I re-learned how to acknowledge these things and then to let them go. It was only then that....
What looked like dead sticks I had stuck in the ground were beginning to climb...
Fruit started to emerge. Proof that some things weathered the cold.
Some of it was a little worse for wear. These apples will probably be more suited for sauce, jams and jellies instead of eating. But they're growing.
You'd think I'd know this already, right? I grew up on plenty of land - this isn't my first time growing things. This isn't my first time watching crops fail. And it won't be my last. But it has been one of my most poignant and most reflective acknowledgements of these things.
Seedlings that looked like I had just randomly shoved dead weeds into the ground had grown crowns of leaves.
Trees that wobbled and didn't almost quite bend, things that came close to breaking still live.
Things that I had just about given up for dead, things that I was ready to pull out of the ground and start all over with, showed me that there was still some fight left in them.
After aphids, brittle branches, way too close calls with lawnmowers, not enough water and nibbles from deer, there are leaves reaching for the sun.
And that's life for you. Unexpected. You'll have snow in April and Summer in March. Things will come and hit you in your blindside. Sometimes things will cut you back, so far sometimes, you're not sure there's anything left in you to grow at all. Branches will break, heavy with snow.
There is hope. In the darkest moment, at the point where you think it's best to end it all, or start over completely from Square One, there's still something left to fight for, something to live for.
Yeah, you knew that already. So did I. Most of us did. But sometimes we all need a reminder.
As I walk into the yard tonight, I see that some leaves had died. Aphids have returned. The Hazelnuts (at least 2/3 of them) look like they might not make it.
But if there's anything that I've been reminded of this past Spring, this past almost nine months...is that there is always hope. Some times, it just takes a lot of healing first.
Last Spring, Dad cut back the blackberries. We had thought they were domestic, since someone had taken the time to place them in nice little rows - and we knew that you are supposed to trim domestic berries back in the Spring before they blossom.
there's a new generation.