My Road Goes Ever On
This Year’s Life
Spring Reflections consider our transition from winter’s grip. Spring is under the surface of our lives; we are not meant to live in winter always.
Spring is late this year. Though the Robins, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Sparrows flittering about don’t seem to notice the delay. The buds on the maples and cherry trees are swelling into fuzzy red flowers, but the oaks remain locked in winter’s tight grip.
No matter our readiness, the spring rush is upon us: the meat-bird chicks will arrive in the mail on Wednesday so bedding, lights, water, and feed must be ready. The potatoes and onions are insisting that they must be planted soon despite the fact that the garden bed has been saturated with heavy rains. Our woodpile is depleted and should be restocked before the summer vines take over the woodlands. My seedlings, crowed on a metal tray, stretch for every inch of available window space, looking very much like grasping fingers.
The younger kids’ classes are peering through the haze of final assignments toward the end of the academic year, which means I need to get final exams, grades, and transcripts ready. With two graduating—one from grade school and another from high school—there is a splendid graduation party on the horizon.
And to my amazement, I discovered a carpenter working in my little town. I have been looking high and low for a carpenter for years but only connected with professionals who would trek out here for a particular assignment, preferring work in their own radius. Now I have someone in my own town? Apparently, miracles still happen. I just need to discover if my to-do list, which has astonishing reproduction abilities, scares him into the next county.
After a cold, snowy winter with a towering pile of books at my bedside and long evenings dedicated to writing, it feels discombobulating to face the onslaught of action jobs that need doing. But that’s the beauty of seasons. The time of quiet introspection, allowing me to grieve and process various trials, gives way to simple duties where this year’s life springs from last year’s death.
In concert with the slow change, I’ll transition from heavy sweaters and muddy boots to short sleeves and sandals. The still-frozen mornings are giving way to pink sunrises and lovely birdsong. My third daughter is building a raised bed for strawberries this year. It’s a work in progress, and since it takes a couple of years to bear proper fruit, I know we won’t see the results of her hard work for a while yet. But I trust in her dedication and her love for strawberry jam.
We made the leap into the world of solar panels this year, and once again, it will take time to reap the benefits of a fresh clean energy system. But I’ll just have to trust in the process. Cloudy days give way to sunshine, and through modern magic, we’ll transfer light from the yard into power for the house. Yes, miracles do still happen, indeed.
So, though it is cold, cloudy, wet, and windy, I know that spring is just under the surface of our lives, ready to burst forth. Despite myriad tragedies and injustices that challenge our world today—as in ages past—we are not meant to live in winter always. Spring will arrive, and I must rise from my comfortable chair and meet it.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 17 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
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