The rain is pouring down on the roof right now. The sun has been hiding behind thick gray clouds for numerous days. Our solar panels are begging… pleading for a little splash of bright sunlight. At any moment, the inverter is going to shut itself off for lack of adequate battery power and I will be sitting here in the dark. But I have always loved darkness.
I think of little dormant seeds, lying patiently under the cover of soil or mulch or the thatch of dead pasture grasses, waiting for the conditions to turn favorable enough for awakening. I imagine that moment: the moment when dormancy breaks. I wonder if it is sudden; like an abrupt clap of thunder? Or, rather, a slow yawning and blinking, a little stretch here, a little reach there, and then a gradual commitment to wakefulness?
I’ve been feeling my own winter dormancy breaking over the past few weeks. I’m noticing a soreness in my limbs and back from the increasing amount of physical labor the lengthening days allow. When the ground was frozen solid, and with the knowledge that the temperatures were soon going to be warmer, there was a mighty push to get firewood to the house while the tractor could maneuver easily; before the thawing earth became the consistency of vasoline. The temperatures rising above the freezing mark also meant that the sap would be rising. Time for tapping the sugar maples. And when the maples are tapped, the hauling of buckets begins. And more hauling. And more hauling. Most of the trees that we tap here on the farm are located on hillsides that are quite steep, so there’s the awkwardness of adjusting my body to walking sideways up and down the slopes while carrying ten gallons of heavy liquid. Who needs the gym when there’s sap to haul?
As the seasonal work increases and I once again start moving and grooving my body, a little bit more each day, I become increasingly prepared for the really intense days that lie ahead… springtime as a farmer. I’m not quite ready yet, though. There are still knitting projects in the works and I’ve dusted off my lovely spinning wheel and have been having a grand time with it. There are still games to play and books to read. So hold your horses spring… I need to be dormant just a little bit longer!