Years ago, I worked with a Bulgarian family who, every March, made little yarn dolls of red and white wool. Red for the heat of summer, white for winter. We were all friends at that workplace, and everyone wore those little gifts of martenitsa dolls until they frayed. Then, our Bulgarian friends insisted, spring was here.
Spring may come quicker in Bulgaria than it does in Vermont.
With snow falling today, the little girl left her forest fort alone, reading library books by the wood stove and eating popcorn.
Another way, perhaps, to think of martenitsa is as a great leveler: even winter’s savage teeth will yield to the persistence of spring.
But not yet… not quite yet… Vermont’s version of martenitsa is maple sugaring. Fire, sap, sugar: all eventually overtaken by budding.
The value of doing something does not lie in the ease or difficulty, the probability or improbability of its achievement, but in the vision, the plan, the determination and the perseverance, the effort and the struggle which go into the project. Life is enriched by aspiration and effort, rather than by acquisition and accumulation.
– Helen & Scott Nearing, The Good Life