The first time doing anything is always a little bit tougher than the second time. Since this is my first official blog entry on Beekman 1802 it feels like it should be somewhat momentous. Which has me scratching my head. Nothing feels that momentous this morning. Brent’s not at the farm this weekend. I’ve got a list of chores that will fill every sunlight hour. A little gardening. A little clean-up. Putting the screens in the windows. See? Nothing very noteworthy.
This should be easier. I’ve written three books, dammit. How tough could a blog entry be?
It’s spring. That’s momentous in itself, no? Plenty of songs, poems, books have been written about spring. Surely I can wrench something appropriately heartfelt and metaphoric out of spring for my maiden blog entry.
I’m eating breakfast on the porch for the first time of the year. It’s 54 degrees according to the thermometer by the kitchen window, but it’s predicted to reach into the eighties today. The sun won’t reach the backside of the house for hours though, so until then, I have my doubts.
Still, it’s been unseasonably warm for three weeks now. Everything is blooming at once. Flowers that have never met in person before are being forced to bloom together. Daffodils, meet lilacs. Iris, meet forsythia. So far, everyone seems to be getting along fine. No floral fracas to my knowledge.
I’m having English muffins with rhubarb sauce. The rhubarb in the garden is as large as it would be by June. The asparagus seems to have come and gone in a week. I doubt I’ll get any radishes. They’ll bolt right to flower – the nights aren’t cool enough to form bulbous roots. I’m tempted to put the tomatoes in already. (But I’ve lost bets with frost too many times.)
There’s a lot going on. And a lot to do. None of it very momentous.
Across the table from me, in the weeping cherry that grows too close to the porch, I’m being evil-eyed by a protective mother robin sitting in her nest. There’s always a nest built in the same crook of the same branch every year. It never makes it through the winter. But it always seems to reappear without me ever seeing the construction.
Normally, by the time it’s warm enough to sit on the porch for breakfast, the fledglings have long taken wing. But this year’s early spring means I have to share the porch with this setting mother, and she has to share it with me, just like the daffodils have to share the stage with the lilacs this year.
After I mop up the last of the rhubarb sauce with my muffin, I stand up, startling the mother into flight. Balancing my coffee cup in one hand, and empty plate in the other, I pause to stand on my tiptoes to peer into the nest.
It’s not as cute as one would expect. Inside is a fleshy, beak-y, hair-feathery, grey blob – pulsing and twitching in unison. I can’t see where one baby ends and the other begins. If I hadn’t already eaten breakfast, this definitely would have put me off of it.
A nest full of just hatched robins should be about as iconic a sign of spring as anything, right?
Still, I’m not feeling the momentousness. Don’t get me wrong. Breakfast on the porch is about as perfectly pleasant an experience as one could have. But I’m missing the Peer Gynt Morning soundtrack (you know, the one that signals daybreak in Warner Brothers cartoons) that could turn my blog drivel into a life-changing epistle.
The mother robin is scolding me to back off from her hungry grey blob. And I’m already late getting started with chores.
So disregard the poets and bards. There’s nothing really all that singularly momentous about spring. It’s simply a bunch of little pleasant firsts, all happening at the same time.
To which I’ll toss in this maiden blog entry. Happy happy Spring.