When the first delivery of potting soil comes to our greenhouses, I usually take a moment to stop what I am doing and just dig my hands in the dirt. This year, I have been a bit busier than normal, so I had to wait a few days to do it, but the feeling is the same. It means winter is winding down; that the seeds that are waiting patiently in the storage bins will have a springboard for their magical emergence; and that flowers, greenery, and fresh food will soon be in our lives again.
Winter used to be a difficult time for me, but I have learned to accept its slowness and constricting nature. I spend time outside as much as possible and try to rest; something about hitting 40 makes me understand the value of Doing Nothing more than I used to I suppose. But during those earlier years, when winter was more difficult for me, I always marked the first soil delivery on my calendar and that became the date towards which I would count all winter long. When that day finally came, Dennis, who delivers for VT Copmost Company would drive his truck into the barn and the big pile would spill out of the dump truck and I would wait politely for him to leave before taking off my boots and socks, pulling up pant legs and sleeves, and just dig into that fluffy warm pile. A thawing takes place, a deep, deep thawing, and gratitude just settles in.