55 Days Till Spring

55 Days till Spring: the title of a Facebook post from a neighbor. My thought: Egads! That’s less than 2 months away. Since moving to the ‘country’ from NYC, 6 years ago, this is the first year that I’ve felt that the winter season serves a valuable function. Now is the time to do all the things that must be done indoors. Making paintings, designing client gardens, designing new collections for Stonewell Cottage, implementing indoor projects chez Stonewell, completing sewing projects for clients, preparing for the upcoming gardening season here, on our own turf, ordering seeds and plants and trees, so much to do, and so little time to do it in. Andrew has his sights set on completing the stonework on the wood-fired, beehive oven and, possibly, the adjoining patio area. It’s been too cold to implement that plan, and all the while, ‘tempus fugit’. Snow continues to fall. temperatures hover around or plunge below the teens, Farenheit. Trips to the woodshed  demand an act of willpower and grit. Tea and coffee punctuate the bursts of action that spike the flatliner vector.  The grey and white landscape induces introversion; pinning our attention to the warm chair, the colorful computer screen, the opiate draw of Facebook and news channels and leisurely websearches for bees and plants and ‘how-to’ guides for any number of things that will deliver distractions from the dead and frozen landscape. Fifty-five days. Egads. Not enough time. Not nearly enough time till the shocking green shoots greet us with the suggestion of Spring. Not enough time until the long list of tasks that gardens and beauty will make their demands on us. Not long before the gardens will murmer, in their sleep, as they’re slowly aroused from their hibernian slumber, to seek attention.

Yesterday, while rummaging around the place, I noticed that the peonies were already sending out alerts with tiny red shoots from their frozen roots. My reaction was somewhat ambiguous.(“Dear god, it’s January, for crying out loud”) It is snowing now. I’m grateful, as this will conceal the thing that we love the most and yet, are not quite ready for: Gardening.

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