Each day is so much it’s own. At morning it has yet to be seen, and at night it is exhausted, ready to review and have rest.
I woke the morning of the Equinox in a state of anxiety. The house felt too cold. I had left the baby nightshade plants in the greenhouse, feeling that it wasn’t getting TOO chill that night, but pre-dawn, I wasn’t so sure anymore.
The turkeys worried me too. Lulah and I put up a broody turkey hen the night before. She had wanted to stay out all night on her eggs, and we didn’t think it was safe. I lifted her off her nest and displaced her back with her flock in the safe coop. When I held her, I could feel that her belly feathers were gone. She was really ready to set on eggs. As a mother, it’s difficult to deny that instinct.
So, next night, I put a large ventilated tote on top of her right where she sat, and weighed it down with a big heavy stone. It would take a very persistent critter to come this close to our house and move that rock to find the setting bird beneath.
But I woke with the feeling that she may be smothering under the box. What if I had just frozen the delicate eggplants and peppers and smothered our broody turkey?
As it is with most anxieties, mine were unfounded. The seedlings were fine and the turkey hen looked no more or less perturbed than usual at my messing with her nest. The day dawned bright and clear and cold. Lulah reminded me that it was the Equinox, the long awaited beginning of Spring. I was glad to be reminded.
Each season is it’s own, too. At the dawning of spring, I feel the final exhalation of winter. The pantry begins to empty and we grow weary of our put-by food, ready for the new dark green growth working its way up out of the ground. There is a feeling of open possibility, busy anticipation. What will the season bring? Will it be hot and dry? Cold and wet? Are we prepared for either or both of these possibilities? So far, March this year is cold. I will not complain about this. With luck, this cold snap will delay the bud and bloom of the fruit trees and make a better year for apples and pears. We were shocked, and honestly delighted, to see the snow flurries in the equinox afternoon clouds. The cold gives us more time to ruminate on the coming of the light. Spring is like an inhalation – a receiving of what is new and nourishing.
In the meantime, the children and I have grown weary of time away from the Man Around Here. Mornings and Evenings are hectic with chores. Even though he’s not a big talker, the dining table feels empty and too quiet. But each moment is its own, when we can remember to seize it. Talking with Lulah late at night, she unwinds her thoughts of that day, celebrating and mourning in each breath. She tells me that she has just now realized that she is like everyone else. Until now, she tells me, she thought she was special, and was not made to come and go like the rest of us. But now for some reason, she knows that her life is like all life. She mourns this discovery a bit. I pray for some guidance in this conversation, and jump in. I say, look at it this way. We’re all ordinary, and we’re all special. We will all have our ups and downs and mind each day and passing season of life the way we learn best, and none of us is the same as any other. We’re each individual special beings. And a big part of what makes us special is the love we share with those around us. That feeling, doing, and sharing of love is what feeds the individual beauty and goodness inside each of us. I felt her brighten, and shine, and she slept well.
How grateful I am to have stayed awake for that. The yogi old-timers had a way to speaking about the course of life in relation to the passing of a day. The morning of life, from birth to the mid-late twenties, is the time of growth, big learning, strengthening, expansion. The midday of life, from late twenties into the sixties or so (these numbers are variable per individual of course), is the time for stability, house-holding, child raising, discipline, accumulation. And the evening of life is time to let go of our worldly responsibilities and focus on the inner world, preparation for that final passage. Cross referencing this system to the Anthroposophical view of human development (of which my understanding is rudimentary at best), looking especially at the seven-year development cycle, I get a sense of my precious daughter’s perspective. She is emerging from the dawn of her early childhood into the brighter light of full morning. The world around her is growing clearer, more defined, and brighter, maybe sometimes glaringly so. It is an exuberant, exciting, tender, and fragile time, and I’m so glad to be in her life to witness the transformation. It’s a lot like Spring.
This week began as winter. Each day held its own share of beauty and challenge for the taking. Nourishing walks in the cold air with dear friends, enjoyment of children, stoking fires. It ends as spring. That blustery muddy mess of hopes and possibilities. My folks came to lend a hand in the midst of it (I’m so grateful they want to). My father and I hauled wood and pumped water. Our boots made good sounds in the firm mud. At sunset, the thin pink clouds moved east and the moon shone, a near perfect half, in the blue sky.
These seasons, days, people, moments each recognized in their wholeness make the stuff of a full life, of memory, and set the stage for new tomorrows. Spring is here.