Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On Winter's Conversion to Spring

Bad Axe, Michigan is a small town. Rather, it was when I lived there in the late-eighties to the mid-ninties. We lived on a dirt road that met another dirt road that met yet another a mile off. Flat land and corn fields dotted with cows and the occassional abandoned farmhouse as far as the eye could see. Not much to do but call up your best pal and ride your bike as fast and far away as you could get. My bike buddy and I often rode to the "creek" to sit on the massive, metal tube running underneath the road from one side to the other and make observations of small town life. One day we'd follow that water and see where it goes. Oh, but there are "No Trespassing" signs everywhere, and when is hunting season?, and what if we get so far that we can't hear our mothers whistling us to return home for dinner or because it's getting too dark, now? We never did follow that water, did we?
The streetlights were few and far between until you reached the paved roads leading you into town. Everything was so geometric. Every turn was ninety degrees. But my bit of country was unlit, untamed to the eye of a tween. I remember loving the pure moonlight on my skin at night. I still do. It looks like it's powerful, and it is. It feels powerful. I remember hating the ant trails that always seemed to find their way into my room through the window every summer. I remember wondering every summer if they'd find their way to the smorgasbord of meat lying a mere deviation from their seasonal path. They never did. Yet, I also remember missing winter and waiting for my favorite season.
The lack of streetlights gave me my warp speed in the winter. Driving down those bump-bumpy roads, full of snow, who could tell how slow we were going? Or how fast? With only the headlights glaring into the blustery winter air, snow swirling like stars after you've spun yourself sick, falling to the ground and gazing numbly, you feel like you're moving at the speed of light. Watch the snow flying straight for the windshield, unblinking, thinking only of flying faster and higher.
Ah! Winter. The snow days. The snow angels. The snowball fights. The beautiful, solid finger paintings Jack Frost left for you to discover in the morning on your bedroom window. What has become of that wonder? I still love winter. In my heart of hearts, I shall never let go of my adoration of the beauty that winter is and what calmness and solemnity it brings. But, jeez oh petes! This winter sure has done a number on my love of the season. Those snow days are missed days of work and pay. Those snow angels are soggy pants and fingers that refuse to thaw. Those snowball fights were never a blessing to one who can't throw to save her life. Oh, Jack! Not your magnificent art! That, too has become the chore of clearing of my windshield to get to work in one piece.
Yet, still, the seasons must change. Everything must rest to waken at the new dawn; ready to sprout all manner of possibilities. I must remember this. Auntie said to me the other day, "I'm sure working in this weather on the farm must be awful, but just look outside. You can't deny that it's pretty to look at. Like we're in a snowglobe." I denied it through a sleepy mouthful of oatmeal, but, deep down, I agreed. Winter is a beauty that mankind is lucky to observe. Yes, like all things beautiful, hidden dangers lie in wait. But whats a power outage with friends and family? It's a fire in the living room with candles all about and reading aloud under comfy, fluffy wubbies. What's a driveway ankle deep in snow? It's a great workout. (Remember: lift with the knees. That reminds me, I need to soak for a while. Ouch!) What's that peeking up through the snow? It's new growth. "I'm ready," it calls. "Spring is coming," reply the birds. Winter makes Spring all the more lovely.
Less than a month brings Ostara, the Spring Equinox! I'll have to wait three more seasons for another journey into deep space, Mr. Frost. Enjoy winter somewhere else in the world for me. This brings to life another facet of The Witch I Want To Be; the garden witch. I don't have much of a green thumb. The only bit of one I'd inherited from my paternal grandmother keeps me from killing roses. (I can plant them and leave them to fend for themselves and they'll always do just fine. Not much to boast, but I've heard roses are a difficult plant to keep for some.) Nevertheless, this Spring I will attempt my very own magickal garden. I'd like to plant some edible items, but my main objectives are magickal herbs and flowers. Auntie has promised me my own bit of Earth and I will help her tend her veggies and fruit. We'll all benefit. The thing is, I have yet to decide what seeds/sprouts to purchase, the placement and the layout of my little experiment. Why is this so important when winter rages on, still? According to The Witches' Almanac, Tuesday is the Chaste Moon. It is costomary to walk your garden, or plot chosen on the full moon nearest Ostara and bless the soil.
So soon?!
Now, do you see why I'm scrambling to get everything decided? It's too late to concentrate on it tonight. These decisions will have to wait for tomorrow, after work. Good. I like nothing more than to come home after a hard day at the farm and crash into a pile of my books to do research.
No, really! *~_^*


  1. I love the way you wrote this. It felt like I was on the journey in Bad Axe with you, only it what much more excited here than I ever remember. I don't have a green thumb either but I will be over to help with the other gardens because I really want to do so as well. I need to learn and want to and it felt so good helping pick all of the veggies that barely made it last year. I had fun. Plus it will help prepare me for jam sessions a little more if I understand the plants better. So good luck with your garden and your journey!

  2. Thank you, Stephanie! *^_^* Your encouragement and help are both very much appreciated!


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