The winter was a long one. This is a much-lamented fact. Wherever you found yourself on any given snowy or frigid day between November and this morning (April 29th), there was bound to be someone in your proximity with whom you could connect on a very personal level just by bringing up the bleepin' winter weather.
I try very hard not to complain out loud about cold weather because what I truly despise is stifling heat. That being said, this very long drawn-out winter actually numbed my green thumb. I think I forgot it was there.
Then, last weekend, I remembered.
I think it happened when I was out running one morning and the birds were kicking up a very spring-like racket all around me. It might have been when I reached down and plucked some dead leaves off a shrub and noticed green buds beneath. When I slipped my sandy gardening gloves onto my hands and grasped hold of those branch-snippers, I felt the excitement for the first time in a LOT of months.
I had forgotten about gardening completely, it seemed. I hadn't felt that tug to want to plant things in muddy little containers and perch them precariously around my house and check back for growth every half hour. I think I just felt like it was still winter.
Then last weekend, I drove up to the mushroom farm with my kids and collected several HEAPS of free compost. I came home and spread it everywhere! In the garden, in the flower beds,.... everywhere. That felt so good, that I got down on my knees and I weeded for a few hours. And THAT felt so good, that I cut down all the plastic rabbit-gnawed fencing from my veggie patch and I zippy-tied up some squeaky-new chicken wire. The Green in me awoke and stretched.
And I felt so good, in fact, that when I spied a baby bunny outside the kitchen window, instead of cursing and throwing sudsy gestures in its direction, I perched my son up on my hip and pointed and we both grinned quietly.
And when I came home after a very tiring and emotional day, I just pushed the back gate open and stood next to my garden (with nothing growing) and I felt instantly calmer. I'd forgotten what I love most about gardening.
And we all need that.