Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter spring

When we left for southeastern Utah it was still winter; the snow was three feet deep and beginning to crest the top rail of our fence.  As of yesterday--except for the tall, snowblower piles and north-facing hold-outs--our snow is gone.  Gone.  I love seasons.  I love the rhythm of change and excitement that each season holds.  I love slow, dark, winter hugs and I love bright, neon-green hope.  Spring.  I love the blank slate.  The expectation.  The frenzy.  After hunching over a new baby all winter, we are now both bigger and stronger.  She holds her head up on her own and I am able to unfurl my body, lengthen my spine, broaden my stride and reach for the sun.  Spring.  
Morning light shifts into our house at new angles, making Hazel flinch.  Evening light smacks us at the dinner table.  Fresh, warm air wafts through our open windows.  The caramel-cream rumps of elk dot the hillside behind our house.  Robins sing on fenceposts.  Magpies are nesting in a tree outside our bedroom window.  Pine siskins flit about our yard.  We have dirt!  And worms!  We bring in clumps of mud on our boots.  Days are measured by how much time Hazel lets me work in the "garden", scratching in our future.  
(I know!  These photos seem so outdated now, what with all the snow.  But really, they're all from the last week, it melted that fast.)
Hazel really doesn't last long on the play mat.  Mostly, she sleeps on my chest while I dig, snoozing to the swaying rhythm of spring with each step on the garden fork.
Juniper adores worms, or "wormers".  She impatiently waits for me to turn over a new dirt pile, finds the worms then sings, "Happy birthday to wormer..." and tucks them back into the ground, sprinkling them with soil so they don't get cold.  The other day she announced that she wanted to sleep with the wormers.  

I am antsy to plant seeds, but at least I'm digging.  Is it no coincidence that my two favorite holidays--Easter and Thanksgiving--bookend the growing season?  

:: When Juniper was just a wee babe, I wrote about how much I looked forward to the ritual of Easter with my kids.  Not so much the resurrection-of-Christ Easter (because, really, I wasn't raised in that tradition), but the one that came before.  The primal Easter, the one with eggs and bunnies and electric neon shoots of life.  This year, I feel like we're laying a true foundation for our own family traditions.  Juniper is old enough to know, to get excited, to remember.  This year, we started the tradition of egg-dying with plants.  We met up with friends and while it was mostly mamas in the kitchen, the kids would make the rounds, swirl our legs and check our progress.    
*Each dye bath was made with 1 quart water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and a vegetable, fruit or spice.  Beets gave us pink.  Tumeric gave us gold.  Red cabbage gave us gorgeous shades of blue, depending on how long it soaked.  Canned cherries gave us peach.  Spinach and parsley didn't do jack, but we got a sumptuous woodsy green by combining canned blueberries and tumeric.  
^Canned cherries made peach.^
There are so many aspects of life I want to add to our rituals and traditions.  I'd like to find books and stories that match our own feelings for this holiday.  Suggestions? 
 ^In the name of Spring, we've been indulging in the last bottles of our 2010 Dandelion wine.  This here is "Dandy B" which is Gretchen-code for one-quarter the amount of sugar as the original recipe and, dang, is it good.  Not too sweet, just perfect.  Even my mom would like it.^ 

:: In other news, our little strawberry blond is growing like a spring shoot.  I made her booties to match the season and her new size.  
An appetizer of Hazel faces:
And my personal favorite photo of Hazel Iris to date (because those fists fly to her mouth like a shark to bait):

:: On chilly days (it seems so long ago...was it really just last week?), we stomped in mud puddles and drank hot coco.  (Mud puddles have been dried up for the last few days--but I hear rain tonight.)      

:: And oh, yes.  In our family spring shows up with a birthday.  
Happy Birthday to my man.  He is so much to me: husband, father--damn good father--hardworking, funny, positive, a hard shell with a soft core.  Love that guy.   

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful: eggs, booties, "wormers", digging, little ones within arm's reach. Goodness going on. Love that!


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