This week, I noticed the tiniest little leaves of my mint plant poking their heads through the soil, the pastures brightening up with dotted patches of green, and the hint of warm air on southern breezes tickling my skin. I absolutely love this time of year when new growth comes complete with vibrant colors, textures, and smells. (Okay, it might also come with Flonase, Zirtec, and Claritin, but it’s oh so worth it.)
And it’s not just us humans who are soaking up the season. Around the farm, the horses and donkeys are a little more playful, as they romp around in the hunt for all things green. The cows are mooing and playing around the water troughs. The cats are seriously bird watching. And the dogs, well they are napping, as always, but they love it best when they can nap on the porch with the sun warming their bellies.
It’s also the season for one of my favorite sounds of all time – the creaking of the screen door springs as the he pups push it open with their noses, and the fast recoil and slapping sound as it bangs against the door frame. There is nothing better than fresh breezes flowing through that door, airing out the house from winter and inviting us to find a moment to soak it in, and maybe even play a little. Do a jig around the kitchen floor. Sip the perfect cup of tea. Hum a tune.
While I’ve always loved springtime, I don’t remember appreciating it quite so much when we lived in the big city suburbs. Oh sure, it was time to head to the nearest home improvement big box store to load up on bright and showy annuals to tuck into the landscaping. And yes, we maybe lingered outside a bit here and there. But we weren’t connected to the seasons like we are on the farm.
With spring comes the much needed rains that turn the grasses green and allow the farmers to grow the hay we’ll buy later in the summer to feed our equine crew. Wildflowers will pop up all over the farm in a kaleidoscope of colors and the bees will buzz from plant to plant to work their magic.
I’ll try my hand, yet again, at a few raised garden beds and learn new things, like that mint I planted last year, oh my stars, it’s now everywhere. (Experienced gardeners feel free to chuckle about this one. When I asked one gardening friend of mine if it would come back, he just looked at me with amusement and said, “Oh my god, yes. You won’t be able to get rid of it.”)
And while Cowboy and I still operate in the real world with day jobs, trips to giant grocery stores, the occasional fast food meal, this farm life has connected us to the soil and to the land in unexpected ways. It has made us stop and think about what you put in the ground, what you take out of it, and how you care for it. That the soil is in all of us, it connects us. That this life with all of its bumps and bruises, seasons of lack and seasons of abundance, is truly a gift.
So as you go about soaking up the sunshine and the breezes and reveling in the deep down soulful joy as the earth literally springs to life, take a moment to breathe it all in. To find your connections – to your neighbors, to your garden, to critters. And maybe just maybe, find a patch of grass to stand in, feet bare, toes wiggling.