April 10, 2013

I almost typed May. Not because I want it to be May, but because the weather is very much May-like. A far cry from last week, when it was darkest January in that 3rd week of spring. We’ve gone from winter to summer, with no spring in between. April is usually the tail end of spring . . .

Yesterday, the maple tree that anchors the middle of our backyard had tight little red buds on it. Those buds have been shivering hard the past 3 weeks. They’ve had snow and ice on them. They’ve been trying to peek out but slapped hard back into their shells by the nasty weather.

ImageThis morning? The buds were a lovely spring green. That pale green that looks like the inside of leeks, or like a foot of water over white sand in the Bahamas. Overnight they changed from red crumpled things to embryonic leaves. Now, at 1 pm, those buds are unfurling, turning darker by the minute. 

I almost didn’t notice the change. We’ve been so busy with the house all I can see is paint cans and plumbing parts. Just yesterday I ordered flooring, ordered slate tiles, met with a window person, sanded the kids’ bathroom, took delivery of a load of mulch (and spent a few minutes trying to spread it.) And wrote, critiqued, sweated, and went to a meeting. In the middle of all that I got 2 loads of laundry done and even fed my family. (Leftovers, but hey – it was food!)

That load of mulch is driving me crazy. It’s a huge mound, 9 cubic yards, and it feels like no matter how much of it I shovel and wheelbarrow and rake around, the mound doesn’t change in shape or size. It’s a bit like what’s happening with the house. No matter how much I paint and sand and paint and sand, there is still more to do – and the tools and paint cans are EVERYWHERE.

But the other day someone came in and said, “Wow. The house looks great.” And I took a minute to look around and notice the changes instead of how far it all has to go still. It helped, somehow, to notice that. To realize that we are making progress. To figure out that someday (soon, I hope) it will be done.

Like that tree, stuck in winter for so long. Now it’s spring (or it was for 5 minutes this morning anyway), and soon will be fully bloomed into summer.

Take the time to notice the changes. It’s fun to appreciate them as they’re new.

And if anyone wants to come spread mulch, I’ll pay you in beer and food. It has to go away sometime, right?

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