March came in like a lioness, and then the lioness stepped away for a few days. Within the brief tenure of her absence, birds paired off amorously, and there was a short maple syrup run. Patches of hopeful earth and withered grasses appeared along fences in the garden, and our birdbaths lifted their stony heads out of the deep snow. For a handful of days, I dared to entertain thoughts of verdant springtime - gardening magazines, agricultural annuals and nursery catalogs bloomed on every surface in the little blue house in the village.
Halcyon days are over for the time being. Now, we are back to winter for another week or two: cold days and icy nights: the north wind blowing heaps of snow against the door of the garden shed, shiny new icicles dangling from the rafters, earth and desiccated grasses concealed again, snow in the offing. Local geese, loons and herons are going to be very late coming home this year.
What is one to do? I drink copious amounts of espresso. I make daily trips to the cancer clinic for treatment. In the depths of night, I plot other beds of roses to be dug (hopefully) next month, research heirloom vegetables and lay out the design for another quilt. I cultivate patience and forbearance and do NOT look out the window when snow falls again, hoping ardently that Lady March will get her act together and morph into a lamb, darn it. At the end of winter, one becomes a tad maudlin. When a friend in the Lanark Highlands told me this week that there were newborn lambs in her magnificent old log barn, I could have cried.
Enough is enough already. Rain would be just fine, and it is far easier stuff to shovel. One thing about the weather though - night skies are absolutely fabulous at this time of the year: flaming sunsets and moons one can almost reach up and touch, planets dancing in the sky at dusk, dippers of starlight strewn by handfuls out of vast streaming cosmic cauldrons... Such things are priceless gifts.