Yesterday we spent the day cleaning up outside, working in our shirt sleeves, pausing to drink tea and eat lunch in the sun. Glorious! Four crocus in bloom – a set of purple on one side of the garden and yellow on the other. By the time the sun retreated below the tree line, the yellow ones had tightened up into torpedos against the cold of night. There is a lot of work to be done – we beat a quick retreat indoors from winter. Broken birdhouses, flower pots, garden furniture and tools, half-done projects are strewn about, abandoned to the winter elements.
Yesterday, we raked leaves – a job we do not do in the autumn, preferring to mow them up into shreds for mulch. At least that’s our reasoning. But there are bags worth of leaves out there still, and my compost pile is full. We cut back the butterfly bushes to stubs and made trips to the dump. Our neighbors do this before winter sets in, but by the end of summer, we preferred to spend our free time kayaking and then, we just lost heart. Closing down our favorite season makes us sad. Now, fired up for spring just around the corner and glad to be in the sun, we attack these tasks with joy.
Also in the spirit of clean-up, I am back to my book for rewrites based on the good advice of a venerable agent. It’s been months since I’ve immersed myself in this story – my story – and while I feel inspired to make it stronger, I am also dragging my feet, reluctant to recollect those dark days again, like a return to winter. Perhaps I can pretend I am revising fiction – but then – what a different story I would tell.