For me, seasons are the things that mark time’s passage rather than a watch.
Since I relinquished my hold on “gainful employment” I’ve learned to tell time by the sun. I'm getting good at it, too! Surprisingly, I’m usually within ten minutes of the time I estimate. I don’t ever wear a watch anymore, nor do I pay much attention to the date or the day of the week. If you haven’t gone without a watch, try it some day. Out of habit, you might find yourself looking at your naked wrist occasionally, but you’ll also discover a bit of freedom from schedules, which I’ve found to be refreshing.
That sounds a little “elderly” doesn’t it! But out here JOTOLR, it’s easy to become a “shut-in” in the best sense of the word. Our society seems to think that being a “shut-in” is something dangerous, lonely, helpless and dreary. After all, when you're shut in, you don't have access to Walmart. Something that it needs remediation--at least for the sake of the consumer-based economy, anyway.
I sail on another tack: I love being “shut in.” In fact, most of the time, MM and I try to figure out ways to avoid going out. Whoever gets the short straw gets to go to town! It goes without saying, we prefer saying home.
In the dusk, as evening approaches, I feel safely wrapped in the muffled silence the big old trees in our yard provide, with only the rustle of the wind in their leaves, the tree frogs declaring territory and the songbirds nesting overhead, talking to one another just before dark..
Life slows down for a “shut-in,” offering time to notice life’s markers along the way. We celebrate the “first” whatever….be it a wild Rhododendron bud, the first strawberry and raspberry, the Hollyhock coming into bloom--the markers of the season every year.
We’ve had two apricots for well over fifteen years, and this year, for the first time, (along with a nectarine as well)…they have fruit! That’s a REAL marker!
Right now, the wild azaleas are in bloom. Soon (if not already) the Mountain Laurel will burst into blossom and cover the hillsides with pink. The seasons and the accompanying markers of them, are the stepping stones of each year
Perhaps best of all….we had our first salad from the garden of the year last night(we eat only in season)—a combination of fresh, harvested-in-the-rain spinach leaves, Black-seeded Simpson lettuce, Misapoona and zippy radishes. With some of my from-the-cow aged (crumbly) cheddar drizzled over the top, along with a few homemade croutons, a hard-cooked egg, and a light topping of a dressing I made with Balsamic vinegar, freshly chopped garlic and some lightly applied homegrown basil….it was a feast. MM and I couldn’t stop crowing about how good it was.
Another marker along the pathway of the year and more to come!