preparing for spring

Even though where I am feels a little more like summer than spring, and even though much of the U.S. looks more like winter, I can’t help but prepare le sacre du printemps. Once March hits I’m all about the blooms and bulbs, heavy cleaning inside and more time outside in the sun. I like to work a little harder on my skincare regimin to prep for tank top-and-sunhat season ahead, and my willpower becomes totally useless against any plants begging to come home with me at the grocery store.

(See potted mint above and hyacinth, below.)

One Saturday, when it started to truly feel like the warmth was going to stick, we took a little extra time to spruce up our front porch with solar lanterns and a few plants for al fresco dinners and parties. We have a little bistro table with two tiny chairs, and so a pair of thrifted camp stools helps to add a little extra seating. I even switched out the wintery fronds in our grapevine wreath for the front door in favor of more cheery fabric-scrap pompoms.

Inside, I hung a new piece of art — a tea towel by Leah Duncan from a great fundraiser from back home.

Most of my sweaters are on their way into storage, and to welcome the sunny days ahead I’ve started sewing a little sleeveless top out of an old pillowcase I bought at the thrift shop. It has the cheeriest, most darling floral print and I can’t wait to wear those box pleats out with shorts and sandals.

And, in keeping with a little spring tradition of mine, a little white hyacinth is blooming inside on our kitchen table. Hyacinths are such a harbinger of spring, with their timid peeking from the soil and the sweet perfume they send out with colors plum, blush and ivory.

Keeping it in the kitchen, or on a free spot on the counter where a weak beam of light happens to land, feels a little like being home again. Seeing hyacinths bloom in my mother’s flower beds always meant that winter was over, that a new season of rebirth and renewal was coming, that it was time to slough off the dead skin of winter a leap, naked and new, into the morning.

A most astonishing thing —
Seventy years have I lived;
(Hurrah for the flowers of Spring,
For Spring is here again.)

-W.B. Yeats, “Imitated from the Japanese”

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