Monday, March 02, 2009

It is March. Let the optimism begin!


...Thoreau's Journal: 2-Mar-1859
As I go through Cassandra Ponds, I look round on the young oak woods still clad with rustling leaves as in winter, with a feeling as if it were their last rustle before the spring, but then I reflect how faraway still is the time when the new buds swelling will cause these leaves to fall. We thus commonly antedate the spring more than any other season, for we look forward to it with more longing. We talk about spring as at hand before the end of February, and yet it will be two good months, one sixth part of the whole year, before we can go a-maying. There may be a month of solid and uninterrupted winter yet, plenty of ice and good sleighing. We may not even see the bare ground, and hardly the water, and yet we sit down and warm our spirits annually with distant prospect of spring. As if a man were to warm his hands by stretching them toward the rising sun and rubbing them.

-From The Blog of Henry David Thoreau

When winter lasts nearly six months out of the year, one tends to greet any sign of the warmer half with gratitude. Whether it is the higher angle of the sun, the paired flight of ravens, or even just the date on the calendar, the distant prospect of spring does warm the soul.

This morning the thermometer read fifteen degrees below zero. I had to look at the calendar to make sure what day it was, as if the lightening eastern sky at 6 AM didn't tip me off. It is March. The month of thawing, freezing, and thawing some more. The month when, early one morning, the first pair of Canada geese will announce their arrival with raucous calls. The month of sandhill cranes, of red winged blackbirds, robins, juncos, hooded mergansers, and woodcock peenting at twilight. The month when one bright sunny day the temperature will rise to 50 degrees and Minnesotans will drop their daily business and head outdoors to bask in the promise of warmth.

These thoughts warmed me as much as the fire in the wood stove and the wool socks on my feet. Sure there will be more snow; it would not be March without it. There will be ice, and slush, and mud, and rain. But we're getting there. Our spirits are thawing with the rising sun.

9 comments:

barefoot gardener said...

Beautiful post, Deb! Be careful, your romantic/poetic side is showing....

I, too, have been warming my soul with the thought of spring....

Madcap said...

I'm noticing a big shift in optimism too - wasn't sure what it was, but now that you mention it, the light and promise of warmth are certainly very welcome!

Floridacracker said...

Nice job!
50 and we head inside to fire up the fireplace!

Richard said...

This is the time of the year that my moods go up and down with the temperature. I just want to see some birds other the sparrows and redpolls.

Lynne said...

AMEN!!
Beautifully written Deb.

Deb said...

Barefoot- It's about time this romantic/poet side takes charge! :)

Madcap- I do think light levels have a lot to do with everything.

FC- Thanks. Temperature is a matter of context, I guess.

Richard- I love birds too, but those darn redpolls are eating me out of house and home!

Lynne- Thank you. I can't wait until the birding listservs heat up with spring sightings!

RuthieJ said...

I don't think we got below zero over the weekend, but it sure felt cold here too. I like how the sun feels so much warmer now though and in probably 3 weeks or less I'll probably be hearing my first bluebirds and RW Blackbirds!

Deb said...

RuthieJ- That's a great thought, isn't it?! Think Spring!

Yolanda said...

I love this photo and so glad to have found your blog.