Allow me to be the first person to tell you that spring has officially arrived in Hope Ness and most of the rest of southern Ontario, in the country of Canada, on the planet Earth, in the Milky Way galaxy, one of many galaxies too numerous to count in the still-expanding universe, about which we still know next to nothing.
So in the context of that cosmic vastness, what is so remarkable about the first day of spring, that I should proclaim and hereby celebrate its arrival even though it’s technically still two weeks away, as the Sun and the Earth do their annual dance?
It’s remarkable because so far as I know, and you know, and anybody else knows, this little blue-green jewel of a planet is the only place in the universe where this annual miracle of life awakening happens. Oh, yes, certain assumptions have been made. How could we possibly be alone in such a universe? And where are those mysterious radio-like signals, if that’s what they are, coming from?
But until such time as we find them, or they find us, or it is otherwise proven there is another miracle like our living Earth in the universe, let’s give this miracle all the praise, appreciation, and love it deserves
Today the life force, the sap, is rising up from the earth through the trees with all kinds of glorious green promise. I saw songbirds joyfully flitting about in the nearby woods at midday when I walked down my long driveway to get the mail. I stopped halfway, turned my face to the west, and basked, yes, basked in the bright warm light of the sun like some primeval creature, like a turtle on a rock millions of years ago.
And if that turtle had worn a toque, he or she would have taken it off too and bathed its bald head in sunlight. (Well, in my case almost. but not quite, not quite.)
So I could say that made spring official. What a contrast to a week ago when I wouldn’t have dared go outside without being bundled up in several layers of warmth, in my case, shirt, sweater, jean jacket, winter coat and scarf, topped off by my trademark black toque. (Up here on the Bruce Peninsula we call it the stylish “layered look.”) And a good, well-insulated pair of gloves, or mitts, when it’s really cold, like it was just a week ago. And even then a couple of hours outside on Mr. Massey Too snow-blowing my driveway and another one around the corner, left me chilled to the bone. Not today though. Today, with the temperature well above freezing, and the sun making it feel a lot warmer than that, I was warmed to the bone after a walk-about. But, no it wasn’t the removal of the toque that signified the first day of spring.
It was the seeds, my friends, it was the seeds.
There it was in the mailbox, a notice left by our rural-route, mail-couple telling me there would be a parcel at the Lion’s Head post office by 3 pm that afternoon. I knew it was on the way from my long-time, seed supplier William Dam Seeds. They had sent an email the evening before that said my box of miracles had been shipped. One-day delivery, not bad. Thanks, Canada Post.
So in anticipation I busied myself for several hours this morning getting my seed-starting operation set up at a southwest-facing window. This evening I’ll make a start, and carry on over the course of the next week or so giving frost-vulnerable plants a good, indoor start in life. I’m talking things like tomatoes, of course, cucumbers, squash, cabbage and other members of that family, eggplant, and basil to keep the tomatoes in good company.
I can practically hear my old Mr. Massey, and now Mr. Massey Too chomping at the bit to get going. Easy boys, I say, easy boys, we can’t rush these things – have to let the ground dry enough to work, and then just enough, not too much. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of joyful work to do.