Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winter vs. Spring (March Madness)

The evil forces of winter are locked in battle with the gentle forces of spring. Or, at least that is the look of things at Rock Eddy Bluff Farm right now. Actually, we love winter. It is just that, right now we are sick of it. Its kinda like a well-loved relative whose only fault is that he has overstayed his welcome. The same thing happens every March. We've come to expect it.
But, Geez, here it is the last of March and we are expecting snow this afternoon. Temps in the low thirties. We'll be covering up plants for the night.

We will sit by the fire this afternoon and reflect on the coming of spring. And, I'll consider a couple of snatches of poetry that always come to mind this time of year. I'll recall them from memory, so apologies in advance to Edna St. Vincent Millay and John Niehardt for the mistakes.

"Spring rides no horses down the hill/ But comes on foot, a goosegirl still./ And all the loveliest things there be/ Come simply, or so it seems to me" Edna St. Vincent Millay

The other slice of a long work comes from an epic poem , titled "The Upstream Men", about Ashley's Hundred, a group of explorers that went up the Missouri River in the early 1800's. They departed just as spring was moving into the countryside. (I have to admit that I went back to the book; my memory of this passage butchered it badly.)

"And so they say/ Went forth a hundred singing men that day;/ And girlish April went ahead of them. The music of her trailing garment hem/ Seemed scarce a league ahead. A little speed/ might yet almost surprise her in the deed/ Of sorcery; for, ever as they strove,/ A gray-green smudge in every poplar grove/ Proclaimed the recent kindling. Aye, it seemed/ That bird and bush and tree had only dreamed/ Of song and leaf and blossom, till they heard/ The young men's feet; when tree and bush and bird/ Unleased the whole conspiracy of awe!/ Pale green was every slough about the Kaw;/ About the Platte pale green was every slough;/ And still the pale green lingered at the Sioux,/ So close they trailed the marching of the South./ But when they reached the Niobrara's mouth/ The witchery of spring had taken flight/ And like a girl grown woman overnight,/ Young summer glowed." John G. Niehardt

So, this afternoon we will watch the fire and the snowflakes. We'll probably even watch some March Madness on the Telly.
'Til next time, The Hired Man

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