As I look out the window at the record-high snow and listen to the wind howl around my house, I must admit that perhaps Nicholas is right and spring won't be here for another 6 weeks. What a glum thought.
Exactly how high is the snow, you ask? Well, my two-year-old can easily stand on the sheet of snow in our backyard and have an unobstructed view over our six-foot-high fence. And she's on the little side of the growth charts. No, there are no crocuses making their quiet announcement that spring is here. There are no buds on the trees and there is no conceivable way that grass could be poking out from beneath the piles of white that cover our world. While I could have sworn I heard a robin sing "cheer-up" this past weekend, I'm now sadly convinced it was simply wishful thinking.
As I dreamed about the experiences we would provide our children, I definitely envisioned a strong connection with nature and approaching the changing of the seasons with reverence. I feel like I've dropped the ball on celebrating the coming of "spring", which I realize is the gift of opportunity to think about how well our actions are aligning to that vision.
We've been through the changing of three seasons now, and I think we've fallen a little short by my estimation. Granted, our lives are moving according to the seasons as they work in our part of the world. Spring and autumn are short, if they exist at all. Summer is a burst of four months of hot, sunny gloriousness. And it's winter the rest of the time. As I look back, our autumn equinox was spent preserving and I recall putting in a fair bit of effort in celebrating the winter solstice. I know that we will be spending much time in the garden once the snow does finally disappear. My husband and I have demonstrated a commitment to living with the seasons, but I don't know if it's sunk in for our children. Somehow, it still feels like we're missing something.
Tonight, in a last-ditch attempt to salvage something special to commemorate the spring equinox, Jaelyn and I read The Story of the Root Children. It was just what I needed - a reminder that whatever it looks like and feels like outside, Mother Earth is waking up her plant and insect children. While Her sweet, sweet little ones remain hidden from our view, they are busying themselves underground to burst forth when the time is right to grace us with their delightful display. Yes, we will remain vigilant in watching for Her children, and we'll celebrate when they arrive.