Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Searching for Spring

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed--all those organizations I couldn't say no to because they were good things to support have suddenly become very needy.  And I have some deadlines looming for my quilting, which is, after all, supposed to be my main focus right now.   I went to bed with a suffocating feeling--not for lack of air, but for lack of time--and woke up at 5 AM feeling much the same.  

So as I put on my hiking boots to take Terra on her morning walk, I grabbed my camera and decided we would slow down for a bit and go in search of spring.  Now for those of you who don't live in northcentral Pennsylvania,  the foot of snow we had a little over a week ago is gone but we keep having these blustery snow showers that turn the calendar back a month or two, and that was the prediction for the afternoon today as well.

This morning, however, was chilly (29 degrees) but beautiful with a blue sky that went on forever.  I collect sky pictures and didn't have anything like this one--nothing dramatic, just faint wisps of clouds that you might be able to glimpse if your screen is tilted the right way.  They reminded me of quiet background quilting that just gives a hint of texture.
A quiet, joyous sky that was a perfect accompaniment to the calls of the red winged blackbirds that surrounded us.

And the grass is turning green!  Finally freed from all that snow, it is definitely dreaming of sunny days.  Once I noticed one patch I realized that the fields had flashes of green everywhere.  I just hadn't noticed. . . 

And the sugar maples, connected with a much deeper wisdom than those of us who live totally above ground, know it's spring.   Their sap has been running for a while and now their buds are visibly swelling.
But I knew I had definitely found spring when I saw the coltsfoot.  I usually don't notice them until they are full- fledged dandelion lookalikes clustered on the edges of the road.  But this year, because I was looking, I got to see them at a whole new stage with the yellow of the flower-to-come just peeking out of the top of the shaggy stalk.
Perhaps I like these flowers so much because they don't follow the usual rules.  You notice that they have no leaves; those arrive after the flower has died back and they are in the shape of a horse's hoof, hence the name.  Many people think they are dandelions but they bloom earlier than dandelions and are among the first, if not the first around here, of the wild plants to bloom in the spring.

Terra and I returned from the walk, both of us relieved of burdens.  Terra found a good place for a nap, and I   picked up my quilting.   Got one of the big projects I've been working on trimmed (wow! did that take a long time--must have measured five times before I cut into it because the show I am entering has an exact size rule and one miscut and I wouldn't have to bother entering), faced, and turned as the snow fell outside the dining room windows.  The facing still needs to be sewn down and of course there's the hanging sleeve and the label, but it's almost ready to be photographed.  And I was only on the phone four times with my other duties as yet another crisis developed (the phone call from my daughter doesn't count). 

My morning ramble had cleared my mind and gave me a full day to savor.   Perhaps that saying "You've got to spend money to make money" applies to time as well.  After all, we speak of "time well spent."  Does time well spent make us more time? 

I wish all of us a good night's sleep and, if you are still reading, thanks for the company!


Unknown said...

I'm certainly in need of a springy walk in the woods!

quilthexle said...

How funny - the coltsfood is one of my favourite flowers, too. I had to look it up in the dictionary, but I was almost sure right when I saw the picture. And another funny thing: the German word, "Huflattich", has a similar meaning.
As for time spending ... I think there's a relation. Because time spent to think, to re-focous or just to breathe gives me almost always a reward ;-))

Jen Kuhn said...

Love coltsfoot! The sky pic is beautiful; a simple blue sky is underrated.

I know what you mean on the panicking at 5am, a good walk is just the thing. I just took Mo for a walk as he was sitting next to me mumbling, and it really cleared my head.

Can't wait to see the quilt you finished!

arts4all said...

Discovered you through a comment on "Existential Neighborhood" (Jane's) blog. Love your writing and also your descriptions and the photos of the red/white quilts.