Monday, January 27, 2014

Springing Ahead

Today's forecast serves as a bit of reprieve.  A chance to come up for air before the next polar vortex descends.  Time to take a few deep warm breaths before the cold lashes result in sharp inhalations. Mother Nature's respiration forces me to regulate my own.

My soul longs for the tender breezes of spring.  A time that sweeps away the ugliness of dirty snow and replaces the land with verdant life.  Of thawed earth, birdsong, and air as crisp and clean as a babbling brook.  Felled branches from harsh storms are cut & re-purposed to serve as garden borders and blankets of leaves are turned under to reveal tiny shoots.

However, while I dream of that time, the stark reality remains that we're a ways off from experiencing this awakening. Tomorrow it's back to layers, heavy boots, & mittens to protect my core from the sharp northwest winds.  Winter bites. Literally and figuratively.

Staring out the kitchen window my coffee keeps me company.  I placed the seed order last week and I'm praying the mail doesn't deliver a box full of frozen seed.  The list of things to do calls to me. Scanning the list I ask myself if there's something I can do to advance the season while keeping my awareness in the present moment.  Something that speaks of preparation, anticipation and the hint of good things must be on this list somewhere?.

And there it is...test last year's seeds.  Paper towels and carefully marked Zip Lock bags appear on the kitchen counter.  I moisten the paper towels with warm water then gently place five seeds down, swaddling them in the toweling, and placing them in their plastic incubators.  The bags rely on the warmth of the top of the refrigerator.  If they sprout, they'll find their home in the make-shift hydroponic outfit I'm trying.

This is the time where hope kicks in as I peek inside the bags each day to re-hydrate the paper towels. As I open each bag silent prayers rise that the tiny roots appear from the hard seed coating.  There is no promise in this exercise.  No guarantee of success.  Yet, to me viable seeds represent the hope stored within us all.  Hope is an energy.  It has the power to create strong stock given the right conditions. This simple act mirrors my life now in so many ways, but as I struggle through the hard, cold shell of winter living on nothing but the energy within me, with the right conditions, I just might grow roots.

At least there's a seed of hope.

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