January 13, 2013

January Reflections

On a perfect winter day, brilliant rays of light stream from a dozen cloud-shades of pearl, white, and gray, backlit with soft winter sunshine. Saturday was such a day. Bright and dry and thirty four degrees: positively gorgeous; a day to breathe deeply and feel alive.

Winter in the Maritime Pacific Northwest brings with it peace and loveliness and calm. In the forest, fall winds have long since stripped the browns and tans of the conifers’ spent needles, leaving healthy shades of various greens. Deciduous trees and shrubs have long since shed their leafy canopies, showing off smooth or rough textured trunks and limbs in a range of shades. Swelling buds form at branch tips, promising a future of flowers and bright green leaves.

Mowing and weeding are out; winter pruning and planning are in. In a few short weeks, the now-silent greenhouse will bustle with activity. Planning and pruning will be replaced by seeding, watering, watching, waiting and transplanting.  For us, seed packets stating “plant after all danger of frost has passed” means back up two or three months and get it seeded now.

January is clean-slate time; a time of renewal. Perfect rows of glossy greens, juicy veggies and a rainbow of cut flowers reside within thousands of tiny seeds, just waiting for the right combination of soil and water, warmth and timing; the “green light” of spring.