It’s finally happening; Spring comes to the Bigelows, where I have chosen to make my stand with Runamuk. Rivers and streams are swollen with rain and melt-waters, rushing through gullies and valleys carved into the landscape by a million Springs before this. The ground softens, thawing as the days grow milder, and the world around me is beginning to green up as Life returns to the land.
This is my favorite part…..the Greening.
What joy it brings to my heart to see the greening of the grasses─lawns, fields, and roadsides. What utter elation fills me when the trees’ leaf buds begin to swell, and that first blush of tender yellow-green spreads across the hills and mountains that I call home. We have survived another long, harsh Maine winter, and Spring comes now to the Bigelow Mountains. Life returns in all it’s glory, and I welcome the season with open arms and an open heart.
Winter stayed late this year, (overstaying his welcome, if you ask me!), yet Spring comes, and the growing season is getting underway. Farmers and gardeners across the land rejoice, and dig their hands into the soil, cultivating an age-old relationship with the Earth and the Life that sustains us.
Whether you grow food or flowers, or if you’re only reading this blog because you’re an admirer of nature or perhaps an aspiring farmer─we are all of us a part of this amazing planet and Her complex ecosystems. It’s important to remember that every living creature on this Earth is connected to the next in some way. We are all of us are dependent upon one another, and the miracle of Life that happened to take hold on this particular ball of rock.
And Life here is beautiful and marvelous, and so so fascinating. We should all devote ourselves to the Earth, just out of gratitude for the existence we have here. I mean, the odds for Life occurring throughout the Universe such as it has here on Earth, are astronomical!
How fortunate are we? To have an existence on a planet that just happens to rotate around a sphere of hot plasma at the ideal location for the most extraordinary forms of Life to take hold, in an otherwise obscure part of the Universe?
How incredible is it that Life evolved into 8.7 million species? Life began, and then adapted─ever changing to meet the conditions of our planet over time─and through those processes of evolution, humanity eventually came into existence.
Against all odds, we are here.
Scientists have not found another planet among the stars that supports Life as Earth does, so there’s no where for us to go if we could even get there; not to mention it’s immoral to trash your rental and stiff the landlord. There is no Planet B. We need to take action to protect the Life that exists here.
That’s why I won’t give up even when my to-do list is longer than I am tall. Life here on Earth is beautiful and precious. We have so much to be thankful for, and I for one would like to give back something to express my gratitude for this Life I’ve been given. In fact, I’ve devoted my life to the Earth in exchange for the opportunity to exist, and for the life I’ve been granted as steward of this particular patch of land.
My journey as a gardener, to beekeeper, farmer, and now steward, has taught me to recognize the value of the relationships we hold with the life-forms around us. The relationship between pollinators and plants stood out to me above all others. So much of the diversity we have on Earth is the result of the relationship that exists between pollinators and plants. So much of life is dependent upon that relationship. If I can focus my energies on protecting and promoting this one aspect of our existence, then I will have given myself to something hugely important and hopefully my efforts will benefit the planet in a positive way.
Time will tell…
Meanwhile, Spring comes to the Bigelows. The Greening is happening and I’ve immersed myself in farm-projects. I’ve got beds to form in the garden, apple trees and elderberry shrubs to plant, and the chickens and sheep are waiting for the grass to green up out back so they can be moved onto the pasture. The barn is in dire need of organizing so that I can construct mating nucs boxes for the apiary, and I’m gearing up for the spring beekeeping rush, in which swarm management and Queen-rearing take priority at the same time that the garden wants to be planted. Eeeeek!
I wasn’t able to attract any apprentices this year, and I’m actually rather thankful for it. Being on this new property and connecting with the land here is deeply spiritual for me. I’m cultivating an intimate relationship with this scrappy patch of land, getting to know the flora and fauna, becoming acquainted with the soil and how the different seasons affect life here.
Doing the work on my own allows me to immerse myself in the task at hand and enriches the connection. I can hug a tree, or stand and revel in the feeling of the wind sweeping across the back pasture to tangle in my hair. I can stop at dusk to listen to the sounds of Wood frogs in the pond beyond the garden; and I can lose myself in the rhythm of the work, glad for my own strength and the stamina that allows me to do it.
Spring comes to the Bigelow Mountains and summer vacation is just around the corner, too. Now that my sons are 16 and 12, including them in chores and recruiting their help for projects is easier than it was when they were younger. Neither of them are inclined to help with the bees, and I won’t force them because I feel like that’s how lifelong phobias are created. They will however, help in the garden, and we’ve been working on cooking and cleaning skills in the house, too. I’m training the boys to take over some of the household responsibilities so that I can direct my energies toward farm-tasks instead, and with summer vacation just around the corner I’ll have their help on the farm more hours of the day.
It’s good for them; work build character, you know.
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