We’re into the third calendar month of the Stay Home order — I know this only by the date and time in the upper corner of my laptop — pretty much my compass to the exterior world these days. That — and an ongoing scrawl in a notebook that lists chores I cross off one by one to keep my paycheck coming. The paycheck I’m immensely grateful for.

These days, the old demons arise  — what am doing with my life? How have I failed my children? Is it normal my youngest wants to go anywhere else (yes, resoundingly, I know that is).

At the end of a rainy afternoon, as the weather parts, my daughters insist I trek through the raspberry and blackberry brambles behind our house. On the other side of the brambles, they show me an apple tree surrounded by emerald grass, and tiny blue squill sprinkled everywhere. They caution me not to step on the flowers.

This is Vermont spring — wet and muddy, largely brown, studded with small radiant flowers. Everyday, the green insistently pushes forward, brighter and stronger. That’s where we are.


Photo by Gabriela Stanciu

February: Light

Entirely out of keeping with the season, I’m thinking of spring. Save for houseplants, the Vermont world is entirely without a single leaf of tender green leaf — in utter hibernation — but the days are lengthening.

Groundhog’s Day holds no suspense here — that garden-eater always turns around and burrows back down for more winter. In the meantime, a spring haiku.

The spring breeze.
Being pulled by a cow
To the Zenkoji temple.

— Issa