O Spring, where art Thou?


I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  e. e. cummings*

Thankfully, there is blue sky today, and above freezing temperatures.  Snow still blankets much of the ground.  I am watching a robin rest in the branches of a tree in the neighbours’ yard beyond the window of my office.  He seems confused, tail bobbing in irritated stabs.  He is asking, “Where is spring?  Where are the green, growing, gladdening things that coincide with my arrival?”  Even his song is not the bubbling joy of being alive and announcing the glory of another season.  Rather I hear protest and alarm, as if winter is an intruder into the space of his territory not unlike another male threatening the security of worms and bugs and nest and family.

I, another of God’s creatures, am asking the same questions.  Winter has been soooooooooooooooooooo long this year, snow on the ground early October and here in almost mid April, it stubbornly reflects brightly the sun of lengthening days.  Snow is forecast for the weekend.  AGAIN!??  <sigh>  Well, naturally, as I have to travel north for a meeting that I am not entirely prepared for.  (The photo is LAST year’s spring!)

DSC_0071

*Coincidentially I used this poem in the Easter Sermon

First Bloom


Finally, the first bloom of spring in our garden.  The Icelandic Poppies have spread throughout the beds adjacent to the house.  She is a pretty thing, delicate, vibrant, defying below 0C night-time temperatures, persistent in the her ordained purpose to bloom and reproduce. I rejoice in the first bloom of spring.  She holds a promise of more to come.  She holds the wonder of beauty for no other purposes than to delight the eye and attract the bee.  She cannot hold her head still, nodding and winking to the whims of the wind.  She will not remain, with regrets to the gardener … she is a colour not preferred.  This place is designated for purple, and blue, ranging from white to the darkest, almost black.  There may be allowances made for oranges, as it is a complimentary colour to the favourites. Time and appeal will tell.  Stay tuned for updates.

The second affirmation of spring has also appeared.  There is a wood dove, or something very similar, moaning and cooing in the large tree across the street.  I hear her/him as the sun rises every morning and at various times through the day.  Give thanks to the Creator for spring!

Song of Solomon 2:12
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.

In Planning Mode


My sewing machine is handicapped at the moment.  The light has burnt out and it is an hour drive to get another one.  It has severely limited the amount of quilting I can get done.  Frustrating to say the least.  I have been planning future projects instead.  Almost as frustrating because I can not begin them until the projects I have on the go are completed.

Dandelions

This one I am naming “Dandelions”.  I intend to use the fabrics above and sew it into a wall hanging for our spare bedroom.  It will go really well with the existing beadspread and drapes.  I got the idea when I drove up to the church this Sunday and noticed the grass starting to turn green along the building and the dandelions starting to bloom.  Always a cheery and welcome sight, at spring’s first blush.  Not so welcome as summer establishes herself.  I might change it to four block squares and scatter the colours more.  I’ll decide when I get that far and how ambitious I feel at the time.

Going to the fabric stores are too much of a temptation.  I see something I adore and cannot resist the temptation to purchase, without any thought as to how I am going to use it.  Here are some ideas for two patterns I couldn’t leave behind.

I love the large flowers that are somewhat stylized in their renditions.  The challenge then becomes finding a pattern that is conducive to the fabric and doesn’t detract from how fabulous it is.  Here is what I am considering.  I have to remember not to let my hair fall in front of the flash of the camera to avoid shadows.  The grouping on the right will probably be a modified nine block square in some way.

Finally I want to do a Sudoku quilt.  I’m thinking rainbow colours. 

Three, Two, One, GROW!


Last fall I never did get around to putting the gardens to bed.  Maybe it was just as well, we hardly had any snow all winter.  I’ve convinced myself that all that dried mess was added protection for the perennials.  Two weeks ago I couldn’t put it off any longer, protection or no, some green was beginning to push through.

Job 14:7   For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.

Before

After

The downside of leaving the cleanup until spring was all the growth had dried brittle over the winter.  Pieces and leaves would break and crumble into bits too small to bother collecting.  Perfectly fine to some extent, they hide the dandelions.  What a difference a couple hours of dedicated effort can make.

Before

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shades of gray turn to colour
Dark of night breaks to day

It’s a new day, it’s a new day
Shadows rise at the glory of the Son
It’s a new day, it’s a new day
The past has gone and life has just begun

Hillsong London — It’s A New Day

Look closely, there are the first sign of tulips, proof of spring.

Spring in the Peace


Yesterday we drove up the Alaska Highway to Fort St. John.  I was leading the ecumenical Good Friday Service at Fort St. John Presbyterian Church.  The drive always provides amazing vistas of the South Peace District in British Columbia.  On this trip, I was not the driver.  As navigator I was able to dictate when to stop for a few pictures.  We have had an unusually mild winter.  There is precious little snow left.  I say ‘precious’ as the way below normal snowfall has the farmers concerned for this summer’s crops.

Farms near Farmington, British Columbia.

The appearance of the fields with their lack of snow may indicate spring, but the colours prove otherwise.  There is no hint of green yet, the nights are still quite cold and the ground has not warmed enough to encourage the tree buds to swell or the dandelions to push forth.  The scenery remains grey, beige, old gold, with shrinking patches of bright white as the snow retreats before the lengthening daylight and increasing warmth.

A half hour along the highway the pavement gradually rises to a breathless view of the Peace River near Taylor, BC.  Suddenly one is above a panorama of this deep cut into the prairie stretching the entire breadth from south-west to north-east.  The descent is severe, tractor trailer drivers are instructed to check their brakes before heading down the 10% grade to just before the Taylor Bridge.  Provided is a link by a truck driver descending Taylor Hill in winter.  It’s snowing so you won’t see much of the view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWOWiLzR7ME

It is a long video clip, taking the drive almost eight minutes to travel from top to bottom.  Note all the trucks chaining up at the beginning of the hill in preparation for the climb.

It is apparent that this driver frequently drives through the Peace, notice the windshield chip – left side a little more than half way up. Almost every person living in the Peace has either chips or a full width crack in their windshields.  They do not sand the highways in the winter.  They use gravel, otherwise the wind, strong and persistent, blows it off the highway.  Here is our windshield after a trip to Fort St. John a year ago.   People around here say, “Until you’ve replaced your windshield, you can’t call yourself a resident.”  When you do replace one, your first chip repair is free.  Ones the size in the picture don’t count.  (click on the picture for a larger view, or any picture for that matter)  In this case if you don’t replace your windshield you are liable to receive a ticket from the RCMP.

Giving up on that rabbit trail, here are some more pictures of the vistas at the Peace River.

Isaiah 33:17
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.

…like gladdening, greening, growing things…*


Easter approaches, and with it all the joy and gratitude for another spring season ushered in with resurrection, longer daylight, warmer temperatures, awakening scents, budding branches, green shoots pushing through warmed soil.

It is time to start checking the garden, to inquire if anything has lifted green, sleepy heads.  I am somewhat concerned, the winter was mild, with little snow.  We did experience a number of extremely cold days and I fear that some of the plants may not have survived without their white blanket to protect.  To this point there is no signs of return, although in the vegetable garden, I think I saw a suggestion of green where the sorrell lives.

John 12:24-25   24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

I’ve been dreaming of seed packets.  I been dreaming of hot houses.  This Sunday past I spoke to a woman in our congregation who has a greenhouse, she is very accommodating in remembering I indulge in purples, from mauve to royalty so dark as to appear almost black.  Last year she started some deep purple Morning Glory, I plan not to miss out this year.

It is a splendid time of the year, in more ways than one.

” Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been: love is come again like wheat new-springing green.”**

* How Deep the Silence of the Soul – tune MacPherson’s Farwell – Book of Praise #750

** Now the Green Bladed Rises – tune French Carol – Book of Praise # 256