Turn, Turn, Turn
Friday's PCT's-Positive CJ Thoughts- for you all. I hope your Easter - if you celebrate- will be full of family, food and of course faith. If you don't celebrate it, I hope you will find some joy in your weekend.
I looked out into my yard and I could finally start to see it. When I drive along the roadways, the signs are definitely there. Small indicators of it are popping up all over the place. Even the sounds are different, small repetitive noises that fill the evening air. Have you figured it out? Come on, you know what I'm describing. You've been waiting all winter for it!
SIGNS OF SPRING!!!
My grass is starting to turn a more vibrant green, in comparison to the brownish ick of winter. Along the road banks, the green briars are growing thicker and spreading out.
I'm starting to see tiny buds poking their heads out on the tree branches.
Southern running pine is emerging from beneath the dead leaves and grass as well. I love this ground cover for the sheer beauty of it.
It also makes me nervous because in my neck of the woods, we can get frost well into April. Heck there was a big snowstorm in May the year my sister in law was born.
Recently, we peeked in on the strawberry plants nestled under the ground cover of mulch.
Soon, we'll blow off that hay/straw and expose these new plants to the first rays of sun for 2018.
It's a scary time for us because they will start blooming quickly, leaving them vulnerable to severe temperature drops. In the mountains where we live, it isn't entirely unheard of to have a killing frost or even a snow storm all the way up until mid May. This was my truck last year on April 9th. We start picking berries the first week of June.
At least one time before the final warm up, we'll likely have to pull out our frost protection and drag sheets of row cover, five hundred feet long and forty feet wide, over the strawberries.
Once we do that, we'll secure the edges with four hundred sandbags, all by hand. The wind never stops blowing where we grow our produce.
My wife's grandparents named it 'Four Winds Farm' with good reason. The wind never stops and comes from all directions. Once the plants are covered, we have to watch it like a hawk. Without fail the wind will cause the row cover to become a sail and we'll have to go out and re-secure it. If the plants are in bloom and we aren't vigilant, we could lose the entire crop to the frost. The bloom with the dark center got nipped and didn't produce a strawberry, but the others did.
Trust me, farming is not for the faint of heart. Once April hits, the rest period is over and we start planting seeds in earnest. The month of May will be a busy and June is INSANE! Our UPick strawberry operation will keep us occupied from daylight to dusk as families line the fences waiting for their chance to pick a bucket of strawberries. The majority of strawberries you'll find in a store, were picked long before they were ripe. That's why they'll often be white on the inside and have no flavor. If you've never eaten a warm strawberry, right off the plant with the juice running off your chin…you're missing out!
The first whispers of spring are just starting to make themselves known around my area. The sounds of peepers, the tiny green shoots of emerging leaves, and the flowers blooming in all the colors of the rainbow, signal the true end of winter, regardless of what the calendar says. All these miracles of nature have slept quietly, tucked in beneath layers of earth, leaf litter, and snow. Soon, seeds will break out of their shells and push through moist earth on their way up toward the sun. One good thunderstorm will green everything up and replace the ever present brown. Spring rains will wash away the caked-on mud and leave everything smelling fresh and looking new. On nice day's the white tail deer will even provide me with a country car wash. (Nothing like having your Tacoma used as a salt block.)
These are the things I love most about the season of hope.
The cold will give way and I'll have the opportunity to enjoy my favorite writing space on the wide deck that runs around my house with the gorgeous mountain views.
Hand me a cup of coffee along with my laptop and I can get lost in a world of characters, and descriptors of places and actions. Spring fuel's my imagination as the daffodils and crocus make their way out of the ground to dot the green with blooms in vibrant yellow's and purples.
I love to write about spring and fall more than the other two seasons. There always seems to be more promise in the emergence of spring and later the colors of fall.
There's a hopefulness as people emerge from their winter hibernation. It feels like when the cold winds stop blowing and the ground thaws, we're given another chance to make things right. I think my resolutions start more at the beginning of spring than on January 1st. There is nothing like raising my face up to soak in the sunshine just like the plants. I remind myself to smile more, to not be in such a rush that I forget to look around me with immense gratitude for the good things in my life. I whisper promises to have greater appreciation for my family and friends. I long for evenings on the porch, grilling steaks, and drinking a cold beer in the company of my wife.
Our life is a whirlwind of activity and it's necessary to remind myself how important it is to make time to enjoy simple evenings at home rocking and watching the sunset.
This year, I'm sure some evenings, I'll be sitting in the bleachers cheering my nephew as he plays baseball. I'll also have to remember to slathering him down with sunscreen as we work on the farm. So many things to remember, so little time.
My PCT's for you today are simple. Take time to remember that spring allows things dormant to stretch and reach for the sun. As human beings, we have to remember to do the same, to break out of the shell and reach for growth, physically and emotionally. Our days are gifts and no matter how we try, they are not unlimited. Be kind to yourself and other's around you. Help them reach their potential and give much more than we take. In every season there is a time for all things.
Spring reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8…and of course the old Byrds song, Turn, Turn, Turn.
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace."
Take time to remember that for everything, there is a season and that season passes quickly. Don't waste a minute of it regretting what you've done, only what you haven't done. THAT we can change. Choose to turn your face to the sun and take it all in because growth requires reaching for the light.
As always, if you are so inclined, my current novel, 'frame by frame' is available at retail outlets. Pick up your copy and enjoy!