“Look Mommy, a bird!” Kalina has been pointing out Robins sitting quietly amongst the branches and hopping effortlessly along the rock walls as we’ve been going about our business this past week. I can’t say that I would have noticed their appearance if it wasn’t for her innocent observations. I guess the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings true.
This time of year- the time in between winter and spring- comes and goes incredibly quickly. New Englanders have a way of clutching onto winter far longer than we should. It’s not that we want to. We just know better than to trust a few warm days here and there. March is still known as mid-winter for us, and not until the first crocuses creep through the soil do we admit to ourselves that spring might just be coming, after all.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the preparations for the coming change in seasons, as well as with the voice in the back of your mind wondering if you have enough sick days to take any more snow days, if you’ll have enough wood stacked up to get you through another cold spell or how long your ragged winter gloves will hold out. But while we’re busy appeasing the worrier in all of us, we sometimes miss the subtle variations that only this short time in limbo has to offer.
But the children don’t. The animals don’t. The plants don’t.
One of my favorite things about having young children is gaining their perspective. They don’t have to worry about all of the things that adults do. They’re too busy watching and listening and learning to worry.
As I was trekking up the small hill on the way to the barn this evening, my mind was filled with thoughts of how unpleasant all of this mud was and what a mess the 2 feet of snow was going to make of the yard as it melted. And then I looked behind me.
I saw two sets of tiny feet, covered with shiny rubber boots, stomping in the puddles and making waves. I heard two tiny voices laughing and sharing observations about the little river that has suddenly taken over our walking trail. I saw three happy dogs, playing exuberantly in the late afternoon sun and digging in the sandy slush that today’s warmer temperatures uncovered.
They weren’t worried about tomorrow, or thinking about how beat down they were from the frigid winter that we are still in the midst of. They were fully present. They were enjoying the now. They were having fun.
I took the hint. I put my bucket down and grabbed my camera. I sat in the snow and got soaking wet. I absorbed the smell of the earthy mud and the metallic dripping water. I threw the ball and watched the sunset with some of my favorite people (and dogs).
Chores can wait. We can wash our clothes. Tomorrow’s potential snow storm is tomorrow’s problem. I’m busy today.
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