The skies outside are so gray these days. This has been an exceptionally rainy spring, almost a “no man’s season” that isn’t winter but isn’t quite spring either. Spring, I’m just not feelin’ it. Usually, in the spring, I keep jars and vases and bottles of fresh wildflowers in the house. It’s been so rainy, so muddy, so heavy and dreary, that I’ve brought nothing in. Nothing! I can hardly stand to walk outside more that absolutely necessary due to the swamp that has taken over our farm. Rain, rain, go away. I took a walk outside, between cloudbursts, in search of this lost season. I found that whilst I was bemoaning the constant rain, the early spring wildflowers have come and gone, in many cases leaving nothing but the dried heads.
And then I also found, once I walked far enough away to get out of the trampling of mud so muddying my perspective, that the lushness of it all was almost surreal.
Wet, green, fresh, alive. From the feet of snow all winter to the relentless rains of spring, this is a place of water. It reminded me of a line very early in the Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, in which she describes her family’s decision to move to Virginia this way, “We wanted to live in a place that could feed us: where rain falls, crops grow, and drinking water bubbles right up out of the ground.” She could just as well have been writing of West Virginia, too. Here be water.
This is the area I want to fence in for another pasture for BP and the bucks.
Springs are everywhere on the hillside that backs up our farm. Water runs, clear and cool, year-round.
The grass grows. The trees tower, offering shade and protection.
It’s the snows of winter and the rains of spring that feed the natural resources that make life on a farm in a place like this so much more sustainable. No matter how dry a summer I’ve seen here, the springs run. Our well has never been dry. We are surrounded by a paradise of water that comes down from the sky and back up out of the ground.
I stood in the green, wet woods with my lost season–where it had been all along, not just under my muddy boots but in the dewy air and the soaring trees, the running springs and the bursting grass. Butterflies danced before me as I walked. Birds hid in the trees and sang. I could hear the distant sound of my goats, bleating, my ducks, quacking.
A little thunder rumbled in the distance. I gathered a few flowers and grasses to take inside to fill those empty jars and vases and bottles.
It’s raining, and it’s okay.