Sunday, March 10, 2013

Softly, gradually, it comes.

by Zinta Aistars

I love the snows, yes, but when the light shifts a certain way, as if more translucent, as if softer, and the air brings a fresh new scent, and the birds at my feeder come a little less often, and the icicles along the edges of the red farmhouse begin to drip, drip, drip ...

... I know, it comes. Spring is not so very far away. Even if there are more snows yet, and there will be, the earth is dreaming of new growth.

March marks my one-year anniversary since moving to Z Acres. I have watched the changing of the seasons and come full circle. With the first year, everything around me was a surprise. This year, I watch for the return of patterns.

The skunk cabbage is first to arrive. Low, juicy leaves unfold near the ground along the edges of the stream that feeds the pond. Last year, I had no idea what this plant was ... the green leaves vividly marked with burgundy veins, finally pushing up a large pod, a little pulpit, and inside a cream-colored secret ... I was fascinated. The leaves grew larger and larger, and the plants would be a foot, two feet, even three feet tall, lush along the flow of water. This year, I know.

Last spring, I watched bunches of daffodils and narcissus push up their green leaves and buds in bunches around the house, along the steps on the hill, and all throughout the forest. How wonderful! This year, I look for them, and I find them, and I smile with anticipation.

So it begins. Green pushing through the snow. There will be more, much, much more. I have seen the spring here once before, and this year, I know how fragrant and luscious and gorgeous it will be. I wait and watch.

With the winter nearly done, I have watched my wood pile shrink. What little wood is left is still under the last snow. The wood bin is empty. Whereas every winter morning, I would bring in wood enough to fill the bin, then the stove, warming the house, now Guinnez and I go out each morning to saw a fresh stack. Guinnez rolls in the snow, all play, while I pull deadwood from the forest, or go through the pile of too long pieces, and pull out just enough. I saw the wood into pieces and bring it inside the patio, fill the bin for one more day. We'll see how many more we will need ...

The ice on the pond is receding, and a thin layer of water floats over the remaining ice. In the winter, Guinnez walked across the pond, but now he stays on the edge, wise. We watch the cool water bubbling to the surface. Now I know ... it will melt away, and in spring warmth, the Koi will surface in orange and red masses, swimming in a frenzy of renewed life. But not yet.

Not yet. The icicles drip. All day, they drip. The snow melts, leaving ever smaller patches, exposing grass still green from the previous fall. Last summer's vegetable garden surfaces in squares, awaiting new seed.

Guinnez and I walk the grounds, old snow sloshing beneath us, watching the changes.

Full circle


  1. You need to roll in the snow and let Guinnez borrow the camera.


    1. I actually have rolled in the snow, made a few angels, but for some reason Guinnez couldn't quite grasp the camera ...

  2. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Dear Zinta,

    Hi. My name is Stephanie, and I work in an English school in Malta. We are looking for people to write about us in Latvian. Do you speak Latvian? Would you or anyone you know be interested in writing for us? Please let me know!

    Kind regards,

  3. Latvian was my first language, Stephanie. I will email you in the next day or two for details.