The wild neon of the weeping willows along the lakeshore has mellowed a bit in the last week. Cherry blossoms are already giving way to leaves, and the large rue plant in the front garden is forming flower buds. According to the local orchardists, Spring arrived two weeks early this year.
In the vinyards every stray, creeping vine, save the two main producers, has been clipped from the trellises. They are bare and sad-looking at the moment, but they will leaf soon. In the cellar at my brother's winery, he is bottling like a madman. Last year's gewurztraminer has just hit the shelves and the 200-plus wineries in The Valley are gearing up for tourist season.
My own energy is trying to keep up with the shifts. It has been an odd and unsettling transition from Winter to Spring. I'm feeling as though a bit of tempering is happening - an adjustment here, a refining there. I wish I could say I've gotten to be an expert at this over the years. I still find change somewhat uncomfortable. I'm perfectly happy to watch the seasons melt in to one another, but watching parents age, and my almost-adult nieces struggle through the last of their teen years, has been a bit more of a challenge.
As always, I turn back to my practice. Busy mornings have thwarted my usual long river-walks, and so I squeeze in yoga, breathing exercises, and bits of meditation throughout the day. I take a moment (or more, if I'm lucky) to linger at the altar. My offerings have been meagre of late. Candlelight and incense only go so far. It's time to uncork a treasured bottle of wine, and add some fresh flowers.
Spring is settling in, and I'm finding my groove again.
Move, stretch, bloom, inhabit, and then move some more. Watch the sun stretch out its stay in the sky each day, and set a little bit further north each evening. Find solace in the cycle, and your place within it. Love more. Smell more flowers, and trees, and weeds. Notice the magic.
The magic is everywhere.
*Should you decide to sample the delight of fir or spruce tips (chock full of vitamin C, and lovely immune stimulating properties) then pinch a small amount of the soft, bright-green tips from a tree (that has not been exposed to sprays) and nibble away!
You might also:
~ soak tips in hot water and enjoy as tea
~ infuse in honey, being sure that all plant material is covered with the honey (turn honey over daily if it is difficult to keep the tips submerged)
~ create a syrup
~ chop fresh tips finely, and add to sugar and a small bit of oil for an uplifting bath scrub