1. kiki waiting for me to stop taking photographs so we can keep walking 2. winter sun casting long shadows 3. a nest in blackberry canes, covered in snow 4. how blessed we are to have these wide open spaces to wander through and explore!
"Our forefathers had their troubles, and they were impatient about them, down in their hearts. But, partly because they lived so close to the land and understood the leisure of changing seasons, they put up with them and saw them through. Spring was not only a relief from Winter, it was also work, hard work and long hours, planting for the Summer's growth. No year, nor season, was without its pains and worries. But there was comfort, even security, in the knowledge of change. No troubles lasted forever, nor did any weather, good or bad. Winter ended, eventually, and Spring came. Thus it was and thus it always will be."
-Hal Borland; This Hill, This Valley
Yesterday there was a different feel in the air. There were streaks of blue sky splitting through the blanket of gray, and birds were hopping, singing, literally filling the air with a feeling of Spring! Snow still lies thick as you can see in the photographs, and it isn't any warmer. But there is this feeling....this feeling that it won't be long now.
You really must read Hal Borland's books some day. Though he doesn't write with the feminine nostalgia of Gladys Taber (who he and his wife were friends with), his writing on nature and the countryside are something very precious to me. His descriptions of the changing seasons, of his simple life on a hill-country farm in Connecticut with his wife Barbara, are not only educational (this man knew so much about plants and animals, I have learned alot from him), but endearing. About living on the land we wrote: "We came here to live, to write, to see and feel and understand a hillside, a riverbank, a woodland, and a valley pasture." I especially love it when I read a passage from a month which I am currently living, and find my experience of that particular time mirrored in his account. Whether it be the first spears of daffodils, the wheat turning golden, or geese flying overhead in a V.
So it was yesterday, when I read some passages on February. How black the river water is against the white snowy bank; how every bit of sunlight is savored; how birds are already beginning to sing the song of spring and fill us with new vigor and hope.
My husband and I have had our own 'nest' on our minds these past few days; it has occupied us thoroughly. Sometimes decisions can be pretty consuming. I shared these plans of one very wonderful apartment with you all a few days ago. But after crunching the numbers together, we decided we would have to save in too many other areas for it to really be worth it. We both don't like the idea of having to budget every cent of a grocery list, wonder if we can afford to buy flowers, dread a friend's birthday because we're more concerned about the price tag than finding something we know they will love. As the Universe often works, we were presented with an apartment which is smaller but still tends to every need and wish. It's actually directly under the 2-story apartment. It has three bedrooms, a large bathroom, a mudroom, a laundry room/pantry, open kitchen and living room, and a nice garden with a terrace. Deciding on this humbler but beautiful and practical alternative feels good. I like knowing I can fill it with flowers and choose the perfect kitchen, without having to look at every penny. I'll share the floor plan asap!
here's the floorplan! sorry it's smudgy...
Wishing you all a pleasant day....sending love and winter-patience on the wind in your direction.
(For sweetpeas and 80° weather, go visit Kary at My Farmhouse Kitchen.)
XOXO country girl