Spring rains are never such a dulcet melody as when they follow a cold, harsh winter.
Although our first New England winter was beautiful, and most days were graced with a fresh white powder making everything magically new again, I will admit I was relieved to hear it was not a typical winter.
Indeed, it was the coldest one recorded in the past 137 years. Hopefully we won’t have almost 3 feet of snow requiring routine roof raking every winter. Hopefully my husband won’t have to wake even earlier than usual every February morning to plow our driveway before heading to work and again for 1/2 an hour every evening when he returns, removing all the inches that accumulated during the day.
But the long winter evenings gave us time to perfect some hearth-baking recipes,
braid rugs that will hopefully be ready to warm our feet next winter,
read together in front of the wood stove (our current read is Pride and Prejudice, oh how we adore the misunderstood Mr. Darcy), and stay up late watching old movies. We love sleeping in late and still accomplishing a full day’s worth of school work while traditionally-schooled children have difficulties of delayed starts, canceled days, and extended school years. Yes, late-night movies are a joy of homeschooling that my teens and I treasure on long winter evenings.
But one of our favorite pastimes this oh-so-long New England winter was planning for spring. My gardener wasn’t pleased with our immature corn last summer–the northern growing season is too short for most varieties. So she planted her corn seeds in toilet paper rolls to give them a head-start this time around.
I thought my days of saving toilet paper rolls were long gone, gone with the days of preschool crafting of bunny finger puppets and mini Uncle Sam hats. So I was curious when she asked me in December to start saving our cardboard tubes. But it sounded ingenious to me when she explained how they’re the perfect bio-degradable container to house her seedlings, allowing her to transport them effortlessly right into the ground come May.
She lets the tube-sheltered corn seeds sunbathe on a deep-set window ledge on sunny days, but away from the drafts and under a light on overcast days.
Her lovingly-cared-for tomato, pepper, and squash seedlings, bursting through the potting soil, offer promise of new life and delicious summer salads and soups. Their beautiful green assurance is the perfect accompaniment to the warm sunshine infusing our home and the lulling sound of melting snow dripping off our roof.
So with snow-free shingles, today we celebrate the coming spring, along with its rains and the mud season it will surely usher in with gusto. The New England snow, rain, and mud are all good, because this is where God has lovingly planted us. Here we are wrapped in His love, sunbathing in His kindness, and kept warm by the shelter of His promises when the skies are overcast. So it is surely where we will flourish, even amidst the rain and mud.
“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3