Monday, April 30, 2012

Just a Shout!

Well, the name of this blog is Joyful Shout, and that's really all that this post is! I haven't got anything profound to say, only a burst of exultation to share with you because the thrills of spring demand it!

We are having a truly lovely spring, so lovely that I think I must recant my previous statements that spring is my least favorite season. We did have our share of the famous mud that graces this part of New England, but let's chalk that up to end the of winter, and allow spring to retain its reputation for loveliness.

We have had some gloriously warm and sunny weeks, and during that time, the grass progressed from being dingy yellow, to bearing the first few shades of real green, to brilliant lushness, and then that most magical transition of all, when it was suddenly long enough to begin waving in ripples of silver/blue/green light, under the touch of the wind. Somehow that represents the beginning of genuine summertime to me.

Then, just when we were beginning to fear a drought, we got a day of delicious rain, a real downpour which set all the brooks to gurgling joyously, infused the rich dirt with quickening moisture, and all the vegetation leaped even more swiftly to life.

The trees are a bit behind the grass; the hills are just beginning to wear a thin veil of misty green, and some trees still have no vestiges of color. But the birds are back in the branches, singing their lovely morning and noontime and evening songs. Delicate snowdrops, rich maroon trilliums (which bear the most unromantic name "Stinking Benjamins", in the colloquial speech), brilliant forsythia, and a number of other flowers for which I don't know the names, are appearing along the dirt roads. And of course, the dandelions are back in full force--that is, the ones that escape being eaten by us local gatherers of free vitamins!

There are so many delightful things of springtime to be seen and heard and smelled and touched and tasted around here. Today was like a bouquet of springtime, all the loveliest things about this time of year drawn into a cluster of twelve hours or so. There were, of course, the grass, and the birds, and the flowers, which I've already told you about. But there was also the sight of the little beef calf that is being kept with her mother in our pasture. She was tearing around the pasture, head and tail up, skimming across the grass in circles, just for the sheer fun of it. Every so often she would pause to catch her breath, and then take off again, heedless of the stolid lack of enthusiasm on the part of her mother. Then, when she was tired, she cuddled up to her mother and had a good long drink at her udder.

There was also the salad we had for lunch which really ought to have been photographed, it was so beautiful. The Lord had satisfied a few of my little wishes by providing, for free, lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots (the carrots being dug from a friend's garden after spending the winter sweetening in the ground). To this we added a number of our own garden vegetables from the freezers and shelves, and finished off the work of art with some fresh dandelion greens, fresh Jerusalem artichokes, and, last but not least, freshly picked fiddleheads. My, it was a fine way to celebrate springtime!

And then there was a lovely walk in the sunshine, during which I enjoyed the aforesaid roadside flowers, the earthy fragrances from the farm on our road, and the birds singing in the bog. Later on I got to join a neighbor friend in picking fiddleheads, which becomes somewhat of a competitive sport in these parts, with all the local gatherers vying for the best spots. In case you haven't tried them before (I hadn't), fiddleheads are the tender tips of a certain kind of fern, picked before they unfurl (hence the name, because they look just like the end of a violin). They have a positively delicious taste, which is only enhanced by the beauties of flora and fauna that one discovers by squelching through the wet areas where they grow.

I didn't get a whole lot done today--but I sure enjoyed the glories of the season. And surely that must count for something! After all, somebody has to be able to give the shout of jubilation--SPRING IS HERE!!!!


  1. Hi Rachel - love your writing, i can almost see what you're describing! i share your feelings about spring; it's always such a relief when it comes, even though you know it will be back, every year. :) By the way, I'm jealous of your fiddleheads! definitely one of my favorite vegetables (leaves?). They don't seem to grow around here...

    1. Why, thanks for the comment, Sharon! I'm glad you weren't entirely bored by my long-windedness. :) And I'm delighted that you posted because now I've discovered (and subscribed to) your blog! Thank you! :) I especially love the comic. :) God bless as you finish up the school year!!