“We remember that the plants and non-human kin around us have not died or disappeared, but they have been quietly waiting in the ground, in caves, in warm places to come back to the light of the sun again. So it is with us, as we return back to the “world” again and ask what’s next.”
The changing seasons don’t happen in an instant no matter what our calendars tell us. It’s a steady marching on of days with gentle shifts and transitions and perhaps spring is the most subtle of all. It’s the soft awakening of a deep slumber where warmth and light is the considerate alarm that invites you into the day.
First the earth warms enough for tender greens to emerge. Rising from dormancy they’re ready to create new life. The full moon in March, which some refer to as the last full winter moon while others claim her as spring’s first, is also simply known as the worm moon. Her bright beam calls to the sleeping worms deep within to wake up and get to work mending the soil. It’s time for new life to once again rise.
For me it’s somewhere around mid-March when spring first calls. When rain jackets are a must and many layers are still required to keep the chill from settling into my bones. But growth happens when it’s ready and the first sprouts of nettles are worth the chill (which is easily remedied with a cup of nettle tea when you get back home).
As a child in the Pacific Northwest, nettles were nothing more to me than a painful nuisance. They’re the star in a childhood drama where I lept into a pile of leaves off of a rope swing only to discover there was a hidden patch of nettles lying underneath. I hated those biting plants until my own ignorance and fear was replaced by knowledge and experience. That’s generally what I find to be true about fear, it flourishes in the unknown and grows wildly within our own imagination. The sting softened when I discovered that these wild “weeds” were incredibly medicinal and even more so, they were delicious.
Spring offers gentle flavors to wake us from our winter slumber and ease us into the alertness, the aliveness of the coming summer season. But it’s not just a time of transition, daily miracles occur in the form of lilacs steadily marching into bloom, fragrant mint abundant in every salad on our table and the call of the hens as the sun perks them into production once again.
What’s delighting me:
Having just returned home from a week in Paris (more on that soon) I’m quite inspired by the supple elegance of French butter swirled with sea salt on a loamy baguette. The day after I returned home I set out to gather all the ingredients for a sandwich of butter, cheese, and ham. Lucky for us here in Seattle, we have a French grocer and some mighty fine baguettes.
A hefty supply of cheeseburger chips my friend, Kacie, and I brought back from Paris. I assure you, they are the absolute best ever.
While going about my day, basking in the rare bit of sunshine for this time of year, I met a fellow by the name of Alex. After a sweet exchange he recommended I listen to an episode of This American Life called, The Show of Delights. I think you all would like it as well.
By now you’re probably quite familiar with my love of the book, Wintering. Well, Katherine May’s new book, Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age, is finally out and I am forcing myself to read through it slowly, as if to savor every delicious word. It’s so very good.
Putting time on my calendar to play with my creativity. An artist’s date, if you will. Likely, if it’s on the calendar I will honor it and more and more I realize that playfulness and creativity merit honor.
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So many things I would like to comment on but first stinging nettles…turning the sting of a nettle into a treat to be savored…beautiful. Love it & Love Love you…and your words.
I love the show of delights! I listed to Ross Gays whole book after this episode, and I can't recommend it enough - the way he reads it is so joyful and fun. A related listen is Alie Ward's Awesomeology Episode.