© Another Day in the Country
In all the years I’ve been here in Kansas, this is the most beautiful spring yet! It’s glorious. This spring has been the season to remember and talk about endlessly. This is the year we have had 80-degree weather in March. March? Can you believe it?
It’s happened before, the nice weather, but we knew that if we waited just a few days the shoe would drop and all those buds and blooms would freeze! We knew it, and it happened. It took the whole summer for the trees to recover. They remember what happens when it gets too nice too soon, and we are lulled into some kind of glorious stupor, and then we get it: hail, tornadoes, freezing weather, sleet and utter devastation.
That’s why Kansans are so pessimistic, I believe. They know in their bones that when things are too nice, trouble is waiting just around the corner. It’s bred into their very bones. “Don’t revel in the good, the beautiful the grand,” we mutter to ourselves and whoever else will listen in their giddy springtime revels, “because Mother Nature is gonna get you! Just you wait and see.”
For the past week, I’ve been waiting. The world has been just too lovely.
The lilacs paid no heed. They didn’t wait. They’ve been literally blooming their heads off. Who ever knew there were so many lilacs in Kansas? They are everywhere and this is their year. They are blooming so profusely in Ramona that you can smell the scent of lilac on the breeze! It’s heavenly.
The wheat fields are green. The newspaper headliners can’t spell out doom and gloom where the crops are concerned because we got rain! Rain, glorious rain, came at just the right time and the wheat is growing like topsy.
Tulips, tulips everywhere in our yards. And the rain stopped just in time so their lovely heads were not battered and bruised. They just opened their petals and drank in the sunshine.
The pear trees, the apples, the redbuds have all been blooming. My cherry trees are covered with blossoms and there are white petals all over the ground as I walk. This is the spring that explains why you want to even live in the country.
My sister has been on vacation the past two weeks. She went to Portland, Ore., to visit a friend of ours, and the day she arrived she called home and said, “I just landed. It’s 40 degrees, pouring rain, and I’m freezing.” I tried to sound sympathetic.
It rained on the west coast the whole time she was there. The weather was “niserable” (as my daughter used to say when she was a little girl). Meanwhile, the countryside around these parts was grandly, eloquently, warmly spring.
My neighbors are planting things. I love having neighbors who are into growth and improvement. I sat on my back porch and watched them plant trees, lovingly patting the soil, removing the weeds, nurturing the black earth, joining the earth in this celebration of renewal.
The very day I sent my column in to the newspaper my little expectant mother, Dove, got off her nest and paraded around the yard with the other chickens.
“What? Not NOW!” I said to her, “I’ve just written about you in the newspaper. The whole world is watching and we have great expectations!”
Meanwhile she fluffed her feathers in the sunshine and dusted herself nonchalantly.
I told my friend Margaret at the Post Office what was happening and she said, “Do you want to try and save the eggs? I’ve got a thermometer. You could keep them warm.”
But I wasn’t willing to go that far — I’d already emptied her nest (while she was absent) of some of the extra eggs including one that had “potential” and I stopped messing with Mother Nature. Now they were on their own. She got back on the nest later in the afternoon. What now?
Last night, before I went to get my sister at the airport I checked on the chickens. And there in Dove’s nest was a perfectly adorable little chick, white with black wings, looking back at me. Were there more? I haven’t checked this morning. I have a column to write.
It’s another day in the country. It spring, spring, glorious spring and so grand to be alive. All the world is singing the Hallelujah Chorus and we might as well join right in. Happy Easter!