March 3rd, 2009



I'm so focused on other things (work, mostly) that I'm continually surprised by the promise and the preparation that the Earth is making for the return of spring. Driving up the hill, out of the corner of my eye, my mind registers a patch of what can only be snowdrops. Another garden, caught in peripheral vision, seems to be polka-dotted with tiny yellow bulbs...surely not crocus already? The sun has been shining inbetween times, but with my head bent to the cyanotic glow of circuitry, I keep catching only the tail-end of it, as I leave the office.

It's not good, this all-consuming concentration on getting things done that I know are not the be-all and end-all but feel very compelling and important right now. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in causes an overflow into all other areas of my life. Sometimes this is just how it is. You wade through it, holding your precious sanity over your head in order to keep it dry.

In the fields of the Ramel farm there have been huge white birds resting every morning of the past week. I don't know if it's the same birds from day to day...they're not there in the early evening when I come home. And they are just too far away for me to be able to tell easily if they are white geese or swans. We get a lot of swans flying the migratory routes here, but this seems to be an unusually large flock so I'm leaning toward the geese theory. They bring to mind one of my favorite passages from The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White when King Arthur travels with a flock of grey geese. I memorized one of the poems that accompanied it, back when I was a teen with so much time on my hands and so many more clean, uncluttered braincells; now all I remember of it is Hank Hank Hink Hink Honk Honk. A silly song of the wild grey geese.

Thanks to Google, it's at my fingertips:

We wander the sky with many a Cronk
And land in the pasture fields with a Plonk.
Hank-hank, Hink-hink, Honk-honk.

Then we bend our necks with a curious kink
Like the bend the plumber puts under the sink.
Honk-honk, Hank-hank, Hink-hink.

And we feed away in a sociable rank
Tearing the grass with a sideways yank.
Hink-hink, Honk-honk, Hank-hank.

But Hink or Honk we relish the Plonk,
And Honk or Hank we relish the rank,
And Hank or Hink we think it a jink
To Honk or Hank or Hink!

Someone has been plowing the fields; the chocolatey velvety earth has been turned over and furrowed. The neon yellow of the rapeseed is only a few weeks away. The Kävlinge river is actually not overflowing its brim. The abandoned boats near the Flyinge stables are well up above the waterline. This doesn't bode well for the crops in the long run or for our planned canoeing trip in June. Maybe we'll have to hike instead. In the back of my head someone has stuck up a post-it note that is telling me in no uncertain terms that I can't wait much longer to do my own part for spring preparations: clear last year's deadfall away, remove the evergreen branches that are keeping the hostas warm, trim the things that need to be trimmed, remove the old dead growth from the flowerpots. Get ready, get ready! Spring is coming.

...It is no good trying to tell about the beauty. It was just that life was beautiful beyond belief, and that is a kind of joy which has to be lived.—T.H. White

Happy Birthday to My Favorite German Sister-in-Law, Simone! Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!