I have eased slowly back into my morning rituals over the last few days, soaking in the morning quiet of our home, exercising and meditating, journaling, and reading. It feels good, and somehow a little different, maybe just a deeper appreciation for this time, and our home. Being away does that, brings a greater awareness to the many blessings in life.
As I sat reading yesterday morning the birds began their morning song. It is gaining in strength each day as more and more birds return and gather around the feeders. The light slowly filled our home, and I snuggled a little deeper under a quilt, with tea in hand, hoping to squeeze in one more chapter before the house woke up. I did get that chapter in, by the way.
The days have been beautiful since our return. The sun has been shining, and we have enjoyed days upon days of temperatures above zero. The snow is melting, the windows have been open airing out our home, and laundry has been drying outside. I have spent time in the garden this week, shoveling out the cold frame and tunnels. It felt so good to feel the dirt in my hands, and let it slowly filter through my fingers. If the weather cooperates I am hoping to have a few seeds in the ground in the next week or two. Nothing too much, a few cold hardy vegetables such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and salad greens, and I may just take a little gamble and throw in some carrots and beets. While I puttered in the garden, Reece was playing in the snow, coaxing the chickens from their coop, and enjoying the warmer temperatures minus his winter hat.
A sure sign of spring around here is tapping season. We tapped the few sugar maples we have around our property this week, and look forward to gathering the sap and boiling it down over the next few weeks. We don't ever get a lot of syrup, but we get enough to last a few weeks, and sometimes to share a small jar or two. Really though, for us, it isn't about the syrup, it is about the process, and the connection to a small part of nature.
The winter books have been put away, and the spring books are slowly making their way onto the shelves. I love transitioning the books each season, bringing out old favourites, remembering the moments over the years of reading each book to Reece the first time. I often wonder when he will tire of these books, but each season brings a new enthusiasm for them, and he greets each one with new eyes, and a little more wisdom then the year before.
We have welcomed the extra light at the end of the day by resuming our after dinner family walks. This a ritual that dates back almost 18 years, when Justin and I first moved into our home. Since we live rurally, we can't enjoy these walks during the winter, although we have tried. We have tried headlamps, flashlights, and even parking the car at the end of the road with the headlights on to light our way, but nothing seems to work. The fact is once the sun goes down in the country it is dark. And so we look forward to this time of year, soaking in the last bit of the sun as it sets, walking up the country road, sometimes laughing and chatting, other times lost in our own thoughts. It is a simple pleasure, really, but so filling on so many levels.
So, things around here are good. Life is moving slowly, and simply, just the way we like things, and I will continue to soak up every bit of goodness that gets thrown my way.