Spring. And surprisingly, it arrived as scheduled, for I have a single flower blooming in my yard.
A week ago this same spot looked like this:
And now that’s what my hyacinths look like:
The lilac bush is full of promise:
It’s that wonderful time of year when everything appears to be dripping with potential. One day there’s nothing, and a day or two later there are flowers. If you look away too long, you’ll miss it.
Which is exactly how my life feels right now.
I love this season so very much but I’m struggling a bit with what it means on the inside of my house. I was on top of the laundry a week ago, and now I’m terribly behind. The term ends on Friday for all my students. We’re scrambling to get everyone registered for school, lessons, camps and anything else you can dream of. All of a sudden I’m in the car for a couple of hours or more every afternoon and getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour is an accomplishment. As hard as I’m working, the few hours I have while most of the children are at school are suddenly WAY too short to accomplish what needs to be done now that my afternoons and evenings have evaporated. Everyone is tired from the daylight savings time change but I can’t get them to bed early because all our activities were just scheduled to end an hour later and when we get home we still have homework to do. We’re living tired, which makes the little girls more needy and life just feels complicated. I know we’ll get through it and have a lot of great experiences, but there’s also a Herculean amount of work that goes into getting through it. If I look away for a minute, it feels like I miss 100 things!
My neighbors have a massive tree in their yard, which the owner began cutting down on Monday. I took this picture when the bottom half of the branches had been removed.
When I next thought to look, it was gone. A stump in the yard and a massive tree trunk laying in the grass. Gone. I keep having the feeling that the next three months will be like that; a glance and then gone. I also feel like, because it’s spring, I have projects to take care of that need as much work as removing that tree was for my neighbor, and I wonder where I’ll find the time/energy/resources to tackle it when life is in “blink and it’s gone” mode. I don’t want to miss the big things, and I want to be thorough on the right things, and I want to enjoy this precious time of year – both in the natural world and in the lives of my ever-changing children. It’s about priorities AND timing. I have a strong “slow down/move faster” tug-of-war taking place in my heart.
I’ve been letting the children enjoy playing outside as much as possible because if the weatherman is right, it will all be covered in snow in the next day or two.
I started my seeds in the basement under grow lights and with a heating mat. They got right to work becoming what they were created for and I love visiting my tiny plants every day.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to grow tomatillos again this year.
All the squash are thriving and need transplanting to larger containers right away. (As fast as my kids are growing out of clothes/shoes/bikes, etc, it seems!)
Much as I love seeing these things grow, I’m reminded that the season of my life dictates my priorities more than the season of the year. I am a mother first, gardener second.
A mother armed with a list of where she needs to be every 15 minutes between 3 and 8 pm so that everyone gets to and from their commitments safely and hopefully on time. A mother who’s praying there are clean uniforms to wear in the morning, who had to make a second run to the store today for bread to make sandwiches for lunches at 6 am tomorrow. A mother timing one child on the piano, another on the violin, and another on their fluency reading at the same time, while also trying to listen to what her 15 year old has to say about which chemistry teacher we should register for next year and smile at the 14 year old who’s alive with excitement from compliments received at soccer practice, with the thought dawning in that very moment that the bathroom sink has been running too long and it sounds like more than one child might be playing in there. A mother who held her 3 and 5 year olds today while reading books and tried to memorize the curve of their cheeks, the way their hair frames their faces so perfectly, the sound of their voices telling me stories. A mother who’s going to gather flowers at every opportunity during the wild ride that will constitute the remainder of the school year. A mother who’s blinking fast, hoping she doesn’t miss anything that really matters. Reminding herself to breathe, to smile, to laugh.