On Mud Month, planting seeds, and watching things grow
Ah, April: AKA Mud Month, when all that white turns to brown. Mercifully, it’s followed by May, when all that brown turns to green. This landscape fashion show designed for us courtesy of the House of Spring.
The melt water moving below ground stimulates in me a ridiculous need to stand in a fallow field, preferably in the sunshine and naked to the ankles. There, in the dirt, I can practically feel the pushing and shoving as roots root and shoots shoot and worms worm their way through it all. If I dig my toes in deep enough, maybe I’ll tickle Mother Nature in the ribs.
No wonder my floors are dirty.
Which brings us to spring cleaning.
This behaviour is part of the recovery that happens after your cabin fever breaks—it starts when the last ditch-snow melts and exposes all the junk and plastic corruption that’s accumulated under the snow since fall. This accretion inspires a ferocious focus on winter dirt in our homes, at work, even our car. The pursuit of spring cleanliness can become obsessive: Scrubbing. Dusting. Sorting. Garage-sale-ing. Swap-shedding. Even the cursed ants are spring cleaning, shoving a winter’s worth of ant poop out their little ant holes. Bees got nothin’ on ants being busy.
If you’re an avid gardener, then you’re already busy as a…n ant. You’ve got green things sprouting out in little peat pots on your sunniest windowsills or outdoors, planted under cover. Not a gardener? You can still be busy anticipating their fresh produce that is (or soon will be) available at the local farmers’ markets: fiddleheads, asparagus, spinach, lettuce, radishes (radishes, roasted, are a revelation!).
These farmers’ markets are a testament to the fact that this is a fecund time of year. Pregnant friends waddle, mommas with babies coo, and flocks of wee ones run around the farmers’ market like lambs on a frolic. Our local demographic appears to be skewing younger.
And, you know what they say about “all work and no play.” Work-life balance and all that. Summer is coming and you must plan your precious time wisely. When everything is cleaned and planted and watered and birthed, be sure to slice off a few juicy days here and there to chase your fancy. (What’s yours? Fishing? Cycling? Hiking? Camping?)
For me, summer is about kayaking, so in spring I haul the kayak up from the basement and out onto the lawn, where I can see it, and the gear gets moved to the back of the SUV. The kayak saddle stays on my car year-round, not because I may need to make a Baja run in January, but because it reminds me of hot summer days hanging out with the loons on the lake or the possibility of an ocean-kayaking trip on Haida Gwaii. Having these things visible reminds me that anticipation is at least half the fun! And April and May are all about anticipation.
Summer fun isn’t the same fun you get from hanging out on a tropical beach for a week in the winter—that’s more like therapy. A summer adventure in northern BC is more of a personal investment: enrichment by way of quality deposits into your memory bank.
Plant the seed of your summer fun now and then sit back and watch it grow. Just like everything else this time of year.