A tantalizing whisper of a change in season started a few days ago.
Last week, as I was headed to work in a whiteout blizzard after finishing morning chores, I cried. Because WINTER. It was the snowflake that broke the farmer's back, I suppose you could say. That day, Christian and I were talking about my melancholy and he confided that he, too, felt that winter had finally broken him. The good news? That's how every Michigander feels at the end of February. The bad news? A common saying about March is, "In like a lion, out like a lamb."
"So what does that mean?" a weatherbeaten Christian asked me. It means we're not in the clear yet. There are likely still freak snowstorms in store for us, and plenty of wet, cold, icy, muddy, unpredictable weather in our future. But it does mean we're in the home stretch! It means green grass will replace the two feet of snow and ice that has been here since Thanksgiving. It means the front porch is open for business again.
The sun has put everyone in a good mood. The dogs no longer jostle to get back into the house as soon as they've done their business. The chickens have actually ventured out across the yard to forage in the newly-bared patches of earth and grass still nestled in between snow drifts. The pigs have been sunning themselves on the edges of their huts, while the ducks have delighted in the puddles and mud everywhere. Our tom turkey, Phil Collins, has been strutting around for days trying to impress his harem of hens despite breaking through the melting snow crust with his feet. Our little soccer ball-shaped goat, Bootsie, couldn't be persuaded to get off her new lawn chair...
Things will be changing quickly around here in the upcoming months... baby animals, harvest dates, sowing, planting, reaping, weekend projects and Monday exhaustion. All tenets of farm life. We were able to devote half of the weekend to relaxation and the other half to outdoor projects, which felt so good after the bone-chilling winter weekends that have made even the most simple tasks burdensome in the last few months. Sometimes the greatest reward for a day's work is a sore back and tired hands.
And, just one week after winter's wrath brought defeated tears to my eyes, I cried the other day because IT WAS JUST SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL OUT. Michigan, you always make Spring worth the wait.