I look at the pile. Dwindling. I have one more day. I’m obsessing. Must…get…more…wood.
My husband said, “Let it burn out. It’s the end of March.” That’s not how I roll. Years in restaurants—I stock and rotate. Years in teaching—I plan weeks ahead.
I’ll be out of wood later today. I sit writing by last of the glow. How will I write in the morning? No glow of fire to kindle ideas…? No warm and cozy room. How will I stand on the hearth and warm my feet, rub my hands together, twirl slowly when I can’t get the chill out of my body?
I need more wood. I go outside. If I look again, it may have appeared. There is one piece left. It stands alone, declaring independence. Forgotten.
I hear birds. The last snow melts on the ground, one small pile where this year’s new greenhouse will be. It’s still cold, mind you, but the geese, robins, new growth on bushes half-gnawed by deer–they’re here. Spring is in the air.
I am wistful. The wood stove is leaving me today. “I will miss you…”
Then I see the next beautiful thing. Birds. Lilacs. The first fresh greens. Butterflies. Tomatoes. Canning and harvest. I am in love. Those will end, too, replaced by chill in the air. The the smell of crisp leaves. Fair season. The first flakes of snow. The wood stove again.
To every time there is a purpose under heaven…
Time to let the wood stove sleep and the greenhouse, mud, and new growth wake. Welcome.
They are gifts from the universe coming in turn, each in its time so I can appreciate it properly. Give it its proper due.
I sit and write, one more morning to let my heart warm by the glow of the fire before I fall in love with spring. I’ll forget I was wistful. I’ll commune with the flowers. I’ll write in the sunrise, sit with dewdrops, considering the exact time each bird makes its morning appearance, followed by the butterflies and dragon flies when the air dries up enough for their delicate wings.
Then, I’ll put my work aside, and appreciate the gifts of the day.