It's still Lent, folks. The time of abstinence. Not a cookie, not a square of chocolate, not so much as a cup of flavored yogurt for several weeks now. With as much perspective as my sugar-free bloodstream can muster, what can I report? What has Lent done for me?
Actually, I think my body loves sweetness more than ever. But the interesting thing is that, now that I'm off added sugar, I find sweetness everwhere I look. Grains are sweet; milk is sweet; carrots are sweet with a skosh of bitter; apples are like candy. I could -- and do -- eat fruit all day. I'm not sure how my system would cope with a dish of ice cream, at this point.
And somewhere in the whirl of the winter term ending, as I've been preparing to take my family to Texas so that I can teach for two weeks next month, spring arrived. Haltingly, here: with two instances of snowfall in the month of March, I'm hesitant to pack away my wool just yet. Still, the signs are unmistakeable. Oscar's become interested in flowers. First, I noticed that he'd been taking (30 or 40!) photos of the quilt I made years ago; the one with squares and squares of blooms, trying to document them all . . .
. . . as well as several photos of himself, lost in thought.
And then there's the planting. It seems our whole family's on the spring bandwagon -- we're gardening for the first time ever. We always meant to. Perhaps I'm having delusions of grandeur; I am the same woman who, before this year, couldn't keep a single houseplant alive for more than a month. But spring has a way of bolstering my gumption. We've steadily been repurposing wine crates to use on our balcony, drilling drainage holes here, filling boxes with soil there, then nudging the seeds down into their mysterious depths.