April is a promise that May is bound to keep –Hal Borland
The wind is blowing of course. It’s April. And it’s been cold, but I’m convinced that spring is finally here.
The change happened on Tuesday. It’s not just that the long johns come off, or the woodstove sits idle - it’s a change of mind set. It happens quickly, the first real warm day and my thoughts do their bi-annual flip flop to a new season. Suddenly all around us are spring chores clamoring to be noticed. All the ditches need burned before they will run water. The fences need attention. The pastures need harrowed, the calves branded, and everywhere spring cleanup beckons.
One of my favorite chores this time of year is working in the wooded areas cleaning up limbs and piling them to burn. How beautiful the trees look with the floor clean around them. We harvested firewood this winter in the same field where we were feeding cattle, in true multiple-use fashion. It will take more than one spring to clean up all the debris.
I am reminded of a line by my favorite nature writer, Hal Borland:
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
Patience and persistence, two qualities we get to practice every day. Patience as we care for calves that won't turn into income for over a year. And persistence as we walk the same sandhills Mark’s great grandfather roamed a century ago.