The Full Catastrophe

March 23, 2013 by Ellen Stimson in Nature, Snow, Springtime

March is never simple. It is a time of transition. The birds happily nibble on seeds around the pussy willows one day and then come all the torrential rains, big winds and free flowing mud the very next. I find the mud tolerable but I am married to a man at war with it. Granted to him falls the task of maintaining a dry mudroom and kitchen. He digs trenches to redirect the flow of water, French drains, runs dehumidifiers…it is an all out assault on his home and property and muck boots and shovels are his weapons of choice. Only then, of course, comes a blast of frigid air and a foot or more of snow. There is no control. I weep while I carry back down a couple of sweaters from the attic where I have optimistically carried them only the day before.

Every. Year.

Nothing makes much sense come March.

The bears wake up, meander down and destroy a bird feeder or two and then wander back up the mountains with their babies in tow when the snow flies again. A few birds sing weekday mornings and seem to have disappeared again by the weekend.

It looks like Christmas outside my window today. Now I love Christmas. I do. All of it, the snow, the sleigh rides, the foods and the company. But it is almost Easter. I am craving jonquils and crocuses not balsam and fir. I want a light pea pesto or maybe a springy quiche. I have had it with rich wine laden stews and short ribs braised in a spicy cocoa.

Looking out I can see pussy willows with buds open and weighted down by heavy snow. And inside those same windows are pots of hyacinth next to apple blossoms. I have little antique chalkware bunnies hopping over all my mantles. But Vermont mocks my calendar.

My windows are dirty, and my swollen cracked gate won’t close. There is discord everywhere. I ran out of cupcake liners and grapeseed oil yesterday. The pantry basics are hit and miss just at the moment. And our dogs look like scruffy refuges from the pound.

Last night I tried to fix it with a hottub and movie. Today I was thinking wine and chocolate. But the problem is not the weather or the in between bits or even the mess. The problem is me. I am off balance and out of sorts. You cannot fix this. It will rain and it will snow. It is March after all. Mud will flow and the sun will hide.

I think maybe you have to lean into it. Finish whatever winter meant…projects, books, lists…And then prepare for spring…clean, toss, lighten.

Today I am going to try and get my balance.

Lean in…lean in


  • maddie

    I HATE March. April is no picnic either

  • katydid

    It won’t be long now…you need a spa day

  • Lynn Silence

    Yesterday’s Post Dispatch ran an article that said Punxsutawney Phil was wanted for misrepresentation of spring. I hope they hang him! I was supposed to go to a concert this evening of Handel’s Messaia–the Easter portion. It’s snowing now and by concert time, we are supposed to have 10 inches. I don’t expect to be edoing any Hallelujahing!

  • Lynn Silence

    I wish to add that this abominable weather has caused my typing to deteriorate badly. I do know how to spell Messiah and whatever else I did wrong in my previous entry, What I evidently don’t do is proofread.

  • mary dee

    It’s snowing here in the Midwest too. But for ius it is a quickie little surprise as opposed to a relentless pattern. Kids are thinking snow days and moms are thinking…oh sure, why not?

  • mariah sue

    Maybe a beach vacation is what is called for.. Look online find a chaep flight adn GO

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