Patiently in between
By CHRISTINE TAILER
I know I am living in that between time, when the past still lingers and tomorrow just can’t quite dawn fast enough.
Last week, every inch of the creek valley was covered with deep snow.
White was everywhere. And then, in the blink of an eye, the world turned to warm brown with thin patches of green scattered here and there.
The gray sky was suddenly washed clean, revealing a crystal clear blue beyond, and the sun shown bright, stirring up a warm wind.
The last of the snow quickly melted, and as I stood on the front porch, I could not only hear, but smell, the swollen creek water as it rushed toward the river.
I was so excited. I had just noticed the first new green of the new year. It seemed that as the snow melted along the sides of the road and the edges of the fields, it left behind bright green daylily shoots, standing fingernail high, poking their way out of the mud and looking for springtime. I love the color of new spring green. It is my favorite.
I walked out to the bee yard. Now, I was not only excited, I was happy as well.
My honey bees had made it through the coldest of the winter weather. Lines of bees were busily buzzing in and out of all nine hives.
I was ever so thankful, but my joy was quickly tempered. The real test of my bees’ survival lay just ahead.
Assuredly, they were alive for now, and out and about in the creek valley world, but I knew that there was no pollen or nectar to be found anywhere. It was not spring yet.
And then I remembered, yes, it is that between time of year.
Time of wonder, and waiting, and yes, even time to worry for the year just ahead.
Yesterday, it was warm and the sky overhead was blue, and my bees flew, but today the sky had turned grey again.
The bees wisely decided to stay inside their hives, conserving their energy, and staying warm and dry.
Greg and I decided to expend some energy and get outside, and take the little horses up the road for a walk.
Just as we started out, a cold rain began to fall. The water dripped off of the bill of my cap and soon began to soak through the shoulders of my fleece jacket.
We turned around at the edge of our property and headed back home.
I reached out and ran my hand along the back of the little filly, and my leather glove came away soaking wet.
I noticed that the hair across her flanks had once again become quite matted, even though I had just brushed her.
Back at the cabin I peeled off my wet jacket and lay it over a chair by the wood stove.
Warmed and dry, I happily turned to my self-appointed afternoon task. I took out my box of saved seeds and sat at the table, pen and paper ready, to plan this year’s garden. The box smelled wonderful.
I paused, taking deep breaths with my face buried in the bags of dill, fennel, and marigold, three of my favorite summer scents. But no, it was not summer yet.
I raised my head and looked out the window.
Large fat snowflakes fell lazily across the creek valley.
Yes, it is that between time of year, warm t-shirt weather one day and chilling rains the next.
It may well be time to look ahead and get ready, but it is certainly not spring yet.
Breathe deep, plan, and wait. Spring will come, as we live patiently in between.
Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.