March 2010/Shoulder Season
The month of March, the saying goes, comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Where I grew up, I could count on the cherry blossoms being ready to burst by the end of the month. But here in New England, spring feels less around the corner than halfway around the block! March always feels like a time of in-between to me.
Listening to the Land
When snow lines the bare trees, birds' nests really stand out, so I've been seeing nests I hadn't noticed before. I started wondering if the birds that will soon be returning reuse those nests or not.]
While some birds start all over, others don't. Some add new twigs to their old nest and soften it with feathers, moss and greenery. Others recycle the old nest, using its twigs to build anew somewhere else. Still others move into someone else's old nest.
Before spring nesting begins, there's a sizing up of the situation. Now is also a good time for us to size up our nests, to see what "twigs" need rearranging and to look around and see what we can clear out to make way for the new.
The birds' nests I've been contemplating are a perfect symbol for this in-between season. They helped me remember that this is a great time to reflect on what we have in our lives and to envision what comes next. To clear the way for the new growth that spring inspires.
In the meantime, there are signs, if subtle, that spring is on the way. More hours of daylight. The song of birds in the trees rather than the "chip, chip, chip" of winter. The maple sugar trucks barreling up and down the road, collecting the rising sap.
What do you do during the in-between season? How do you prepare to welcome spring?
Plan Envision what you want to grow in your life and make a plan.
Get clear Clear out the old and make room for the new.
Notice Note even the small signs of spring and feel the life force that is beginning to rise.
Celebrate Have a spring feast with friends. Include something from the ground, like little new potatoes, and something from above, like leafy greens. And something sweetened with maple sugar for dessert! Share poems about spring.
Let me know what you find! Post your comments below.