Saturday, February 09, 2008

The signs of Spring are still pretty sparse on the ground, - and not too plentiful in the trees either.

But I remain optimistic, and in spare moments I study the hills with my small spy glass, hoping to catch a glimpse of errant Spring. If we were still on the farm I could walk a few yards up the hill and search for buttercups and yellow bells - well, if we were still on the farm I would have small (and sometimes large) children to bring them home in moist and loving hands.

Be that as it may, if we were still on the farm the big barn would be full of new spring lambs and their mothers. Those who were old enough to be out in the barnyard would be bounding, gamboling and springing up and around the yard whilst ma had her dinner.

There might be a calf in the small barn, occasionally a filly or a colt, and when spring was far enough advanced the meadowlarks would call an invitation to come and join them outdoors.

When I, a city girl, became acquainted with farm animals, I mistook this invitation to also include Daisy the new milk cow. She had been in the barn all winter. The spring breezes wafted, the sun shone gently and a few wisps of cloud floated aloft. A perfect day for Daisy to make her debut on the sage brush hills. We had a lovely stroll together, until she got too friendly and stepped on my foot..... Remember, I was a city girl, young and foolish but full of concern, - and it wasn't too long until I was much more intimate with Daisy, via the milk pail and my vigorous administrations to her teets.

While Caspar and I ambled down the road tonight we saw the ranchers' lights down by the river, checking the fields for new born calves. And in the distance we heard the hungry howl of the coyote pack.

Here and now on the pasture the snow is patchy and the green of the grass is promising. A few more sunny days and winter's coverlet should be gone. The small birds who frolicked amongst the trees a couple of weeks ago will come back from where they retreated when the cold weather came again.

And I will be in seventh heaven with the shears and the wheelbarrow, making way for next year's growth in the perennial garden.

Callie the cat will be ecstatic too, - she is definitely a garden cat who prowls the little pathways and hides in cool and fragrant spots.

When I was researching my father's family I came upon Great Aunt Mary Anne who was born on April 17th, 1823, and married Thomas Johnson on September 5th, 1845. It is said of Mary Anne that the countryside knew that spring had truly arrived when she painted her door a flaming yellow, and started housecleaning. According to the information I received her husband, Thomas, was an outside man, and the comment was made that he cultivated the outdoors for his own peace of mind during housecleaning time. Delightful to come upon such tidbits that make ancestors truly living, breathing people with all the foibles that still beset us.
Yellow doors, yellow daffodils, a branch of golden forsythia and a buttercup or two, - all sing the season.


Donna said...

Could you pack a wee bit of spring in a box and send it out to the snowy prarie? Please? Any thoughts of green grass are slumbering peacefully under the drifts and on the 15th of February, as optimistic as I am, I know that my hand will not touch dirt for at least another 8 weeks.


rosarebada said...

I am new to your writings, but I happened to drop in on an earlier page when I was book hunting as a Gladys Taber fan, and noticed you compared her writing to Elizabeth Goudge, who was new to me. Would you recommend a beginning reading list of Goudge books for a Stillmeadow fan...City of Bells or Damerosehay? Any particular order? good day, and thank you, rosarebada