Sunday, March 3, 2013

Signs of the times

It is officially March, but little has changed with the turn of the calendar page. There is still snow in our backyard, and downed trees and broken limbs are scattered everywhere, tangible reminders of the fierce February nor’easters that blew through here.

Early this morning temperatures hovered near freezing, as I ventured out in my wool coat, hood and gloves.

One of the best descriptions of March I have ever read is in “The New England Butt’ry Shelf Almanac” written by Mary Mason Campbell from her white eighteenth-century farmhouse in Salisbury, New Hampshire.

“March is a play actor, an Indian giver,” she said. “March is a warm soft spring day and a sudden blizzard; a balmy breeze from the south and icy blast from the north; a sudden downpour and a blaze of bright sunshine. March is a night sky of intense black and sparkling silver, or an awesome aurora borealis of shimmering color, or a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder."

Leaving our Massachusetts' home, my husband and I drive over the bridge at the end of our road and notice the river racing swiftly downstream, the abnormally high water level the result of Wednesday’s constant rain and the surge of melted snow.

When we reach Seapowet Bridge in Tiverton, Rhode Island, we once again marvel at the incredibly high water level, this aberration probably more the result of the high tide than recent rainfall.

Geese congregate in the wetlands along Neck Road, happily paddling around the new waterways that have formed within the trees.

As we turn into Fogland Beach, we notice that the road is filled with rainwater. Wading through the stream, we feel like we’re inside a boat rather than a truck.

Parking near a picnic table, my husband can’t wait to walk the beach; but I stay inside gazing out at the panorama before me, looking for signs of spring.

The sea and sky are mirror images of each other, a steely gray; and the brisk wind, cold and unforgiving.

Within minutes my husband is back in the truck, and we head up High Hill Road to the summer house.

Driving into the backyard, we notice that the weeping willow has carpeted the winter grass with its many branches.

My husband gets out of the truck to check his boat and finds the antenna broken in half.

But then I see them along the stone wall. Poking through hard, cold earth and dodging stones and twigs, the daffodils wave in the wind.     

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