My landlady stopped by this morning to retrieve her mail, which I had been dutifully saving from our drenching late winter rains while she was away in Mexico. In return, she presented me with a gift of a little Oaxacan spoon topped with a carved pink rabbit. The cheerful pink bunny and the arrival of March are just a few of the many reminders that spring, and all the changes it will bring, is not that far off. (Honest. I swear.)
It's challenging to talk about how spring is almost here, even with little hints of it popping up all over: longer days, changing birdsong, the tiny red and green bud of rhubarb unfurling in what was just recently a scratchy piece of dirt in my garden. But there's still too much winter ahead for many of us, making chattering on about almost-asparagus and planting the sweet peas potentially more frustrating than inspiring. March is an odd, flirty, fickle month that way, offering a brief glimpse of tender greens and flowering fruit trees only to cruelly snatch it all away as it dumps another foot of snow or blows torrential sheets of rain under the windowsill.
Still, the calendar says that the spring equinox is just a few weeks away. We've reached that place where the great wheel has turned a notch and the very last of winter is starting to slowly morph into the very beginnings of spring. The changes are small at this point but if you look for them, they're all around us. In my case it's nettles at the farmers market and the fact that I don't have to turn the front porch light on until after 6 PM. And that little bud of rhubarb in the garden.
It's always interesting to discover and pay attention to these subtle, more in-between seasons. Not quite winter/not quite spring might be a somewhat elusive and precarious place but that makes it all the more interesting. One day woolen mittens and simmering soup, the next day cotton sweaters and a cold sandwich. In yearning for winter to be over, be careful not to miss this mercurial but wonderful time, these very early days of spring when the first tender things begin to emerge and bravely claim their place.
* * * * * * * * *
And now, from the subtle hints of spring in early March to something a little less obscure but equally, if not more, exciting! Over the next several months, instead of finding fresh new Weekend Meditation posts here every Sunday morning, you will instead be gifted with gems from our Weekend Meditation archives. Why is that, you ask? Are you running off to Oaxaca in search of more bunny-topped spoons? No. Have all those nettles driven you senseless? No.
The answer is this: As the beautiful spring unfolds, you will find me holed up in the office corner of my studio apartment working away because … I'm writing a book! Yes, a real book! A number of details are still being worked out but it will basically be a book version of this column which means I have to put all my wit and wisdom, all my sweat and tears, all my deep thoughts and random observations, into my manuscript.
So I hope you enjoy some of my favorite meditations from the archives. There are over 300 of them, so there's likely a few that will be new-to-you. And who knows, I might have the strength and inspiration to pop in with a new one now and again. Until then, I hope you enjoy your time in the kitchen.
(Image credits: Dana Velden)