March 17, 2009

St Patrick's Day

Revisiting another post from 2009. No corned beef this year, and a little too early (and cold) for the garden to wake up, but I just know it's not far off...

I was hard-pressed today to determine which I liked better, the house filled with the aroma of corned beef roasting slowly in the oven, or the smell of spring that greeted me as soon as My Sweet Baboo opened the bedroom window, put up the storm and pulled down the screen. Each could have stood independently as the sign of a great day, but taken together they were almost intoxicating.

It’s been a beautiful three or four days here in The Valley – I don’t remember for sure how many nice ones we’ve strung in a row, because I get a little lost in each of them, especially at this time of the year.

Our winters start early and end late, it seems – and we can generally count on about 120 inches of snow on average. This year we’re up around the 140-inch mark, I think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like all of the snow is on the ground at the same time – it’s just a big number when the TV meteorologists start doing the math.

When we have days like this in March – and there were a couple even warmer earlier in the month - there’s a temptation to do too much. Too much raking, too much pruning, too much cleaning up around the perennials. We tend to focus on the fact that we can be outside in the garden, we can shake off some of our winter doldrums, we can try and take advantage of every minute of the day.

What we forget is that Mother Nature has to catch up to our exuberance. We forget that she’s got a plan (and I think at least part of the plan includes torture, by the way), and we have to remember the patience that we hung up with the hand tools last fall.

Today, I enjoyed a walk in the yard, and took a picture or two, mostly to send to my brother who still has several inches of snow on the ground in southwestern New Hampshire. I admired the progress that our daffodils, tulips, irises and lilacs have made in the past few days; I watched as sap dripped out of the sugar maple, and fell into the garden below. But then, I got closer to the house, and caught a whiff of the corned beef, and reminded myself that it’s still only the middle of March.

I’ll have hours and hours to enjoy being outside in the coming weeks and months, but the corned beef is a treat that we only have this week.

Today, the kitchen trumped the garden.

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