Hello March

Hello March

Hello March!

If there is one month that I never liked it has to be March — although this year I am having a different thought about March.

Why did I hate on March so much? Probably because it has 31 days in it and it feels like the longest bridge between winter and spring. There is still a need to wear winter clothes and gear outdoors – ugh! More often than not, when I look out my windows, I see gray, rain, maybe even snow flurries! Ugh! I am ready to be done and there March stands in my way!

I am feeling a little different this year and maybe this has to do with how long proper winter has felt — i.e. December, January, and February — talk about dragging on. This year as I see March dawn, I see on the calendar where we are going to “spring ahead” with our clocks (more light!) and warmer temperatures even as we experience atmospheric rain rivers in Seattle. As I look further into my calendar, St. Patrick’s Day is almost around the corner — time to make some Irish Road Bread – and, if you are a Christian, Lent begins where it truly is 40 days of waiting.

Waiting. I suppose that is what March represents to me — whether I am waiting impatiently for spring and can’t stand March or breathing a sigh of relief that I can see some hints of spring even as I wait it out — this is a month about waiting for me. Waiting for warmth, for long days, for summer fruits and vegetables, for vacation days, for BBQs, for everything that is not winter.

Do you wait with active patience or passive patience? I was reading a little note about this recently. That one can just be passive and not do much as one practices patience for whatever she is anticipating to come. One can be active as she practices patience as well. In this case, perhaps buying some seeds and beginning to plant them in cups, buying flowers for one’s self, layering in lighter clothes, changing over one’s closet from winter to spring, cooking up a spring recipe — and I am sure there are more active ways to practice patience through this long bridge to spring.

Oh! And let’s not forget that the spring equinox is in March! It really is just around the corner — that’s what I keep telling myself!

Book Review: A Weed By Any Other Name

A Weed By Any Other Name Book
Learn to Love the Weeds!

I love the name of this book: A Weed By Any Other Name; The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants We Don’t Plant. The whole title seems to embrace the imperfections we find in our yards this time of year and all through the summer. We set out to plant beautiful bulbs, trees, bushes, and more to make our yards beautiful and with that come the weeds. Those plants that we don’t plant, but are there and often everywhere. Glaringly in our face, making us realize that gardens and yards, like life, are imperfect.

If you are looking for a book on weed ecology or a scientific books on where they come from, how to care for them, and more, this is NOT the book for you. Instead, this book is about the author’s journey in her own backyard as both a suburban mother and a weed ecologist as she discovers weeds and how she interacts with them.

How do you interact with the weeds that pop up on your yard each year? Do you take pleasure in pulling them each day? Would you rather spray them with chemicals to kill them? Or do you tolerate them and take a natural approach, welcoming them in to your yard alongside all of your other plantings?

My guess is how we tolerate and interact with the weeds in our yards reflects how we interact with the imperfections in our lives. For me, I don’t see many weeds in my yard, more due to the fact that there is very little grass and more mulch on the slopes, but I do buy Petunias each year and love to spend my morning time picking off the dead heads of these flowers each day. This obviously says something about me and my personality. However, the flowers really seem to appreciate it by growing in even fuller each day. Flowers love being tended to!

A gardening book that pays attention to the weeds is admirable. The author, Nancy Gift, shares her own little stories in an inviting narrative on how her life is weaved with imperfection — yes, it extends beyond her yard. Her ability to be curious about the “weeds” is an admirable quality. How we understand the weeds and grow tolerance for them is a good sign.

What do you do with the weeds you find — in your yard and in your life?

On the Brink of the Spring Season

Cherry Blossom Blooms about to burst in the spring season
Cherry Blossoms about to Burst Forth!

We are on the brink of the spring season. Or so I keep reminding myself!

I don’t know about you, but it has felt like a very long winter to me. Even February, which usually slips away before I even had time to appreciate her. Ugh! This year is different. I feel like winter has lasted forever and I am ready to see small hints that spring is on its way.

My mind is already drifting to tiny ways that I can bring Spring into my days — even three weeks before she actually arrives. How about you? Are you ready for the change of seasons? For longer days at night? For warmer temperatures? Have you noticed the birds are chirping once again in the early morning hours. Nature is cyclical and if we just take care of our Earth, she will reward us with magic as the seasons change.

Here are a few ideas as we all wait together for Spring to burst forth in full bloom:

  • Flowers! Purchase some and bring a burst of color forth in your home
  • Notice the blooms outside. Snap a picture. Some of these flowers are just so darn courageous!
  • Head to a baseball game.
  • Walk through some cool, crisp grass with your barefoot.
  • Listen to your favorite beach tunes – getting in the mood for summer.
  • Take a walk and observe yourself noticing nature coming alive.
  • Purchase a vegetable like asparagus, which is coming into season, and cook seasonally with your fresh produce
  • How about a spring sponge cake with homemade lemon whipped cream?
  • Go bird watching! They are back, mine as well watch them up close.
  • Light a candle that smells like spring to you.

Now is the time to get ready for the spring season All of these activities can help ease the transition from one season to another and ground yourself in nature. Do alone or share with some others. Whatever you choose, know that spring is about to burst forth and so are you!