Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Signs of Life

The view outside the window here may not be of Bali, or Maui or Mexico, but I can make do until the sun melts this snow. All thigh-level snow drifts across my front lawn and back patio have begun their slow migration to puddles. I expect it will be weeks until I can retire my toque. I crave sunlight and greenery and signs of natural life. Where we do not find them, we can make them.

We are preparing our order of heirloom seeds, so we can begin our edible garden. Seedlings, new life, sprouts of herbs and vegetables, let's do it. I need this. On our walks, which have been increasing in frequency courtesy of warmer weather and longer sunlight hours, we have noticed a return of the neighbourhood cardinals, singing their songs (calling forth spring? Is it too premature for springtime romanticism?). 

I have begun a training program to prepare for a 10k race in May, my first in eight years. My first trip out to the sidewalks and trails wasn't too bad. Enjoyable, even. Morning sunbeams provided a yellow, bright landscape, a nice contrast to the grey, dull scene to which I have become accustomed. A new play list of 'get moving' songs, and the seedlings of running progress. One foot in front of the other, but keeping my eye on the prize.

A wonderful byproduct of winter has been that instead of sisters fighting like cats and dogs, they seem to have become closer. They feel the cabin fever of long days spent mostly indoors, but they haven't let circumstances divide their bond. I walk upon scenes of quiet princess play, block tower cities, listening to Abby read the bedtime story, shared giggles in a blanket fort. Life and vibrancy.

Whereas the grocery store and farmer's markets are still not ready to provide fresh, colourful produce grown in these environs, I am ready to move beyond winter comfort foods. We've been trying out more vegetable-reliant dishes and adding more plant-based foods into our diet again. Grilled cheese today became grated cheese, pumpkin puree, ricotta and ground sesame seeds in a grilled sandwich, with a side of avocado. Eggplant parmigiana replaced chicken parmigiana and most of the family obliged me by eating. Smoothies replacing milk at dinner. Berries with our breakfast even if the price tag makes me gag. 

I've always felt a little ahead of the curve. With winter dithering down into the wet warmth of a promised spring, I can't help but wave my freak flag a little early.

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