Here's what I like about winter in Vermont: I can curl up, without apology, in the over-sized armchair in front of the fire and read at 4:30 in the afternoon because there's only darkness beyond the window.
Here's what I don't like about (this) March in Vermont. It is no longer dark at 4:30; darkness now doesn't fall until after 7PM. And yet, snow still blankets our field, and today the wind is whipping up snow devils and rocking trees. The ambient temperature hovers around 20.
My biological clock is telling me, urging me, to stop reading and start looking for signs of crocuses making their way through newly warmed soil. (Theirs is probably telling them to get growing.) I can barely see my garden, let alone anything small and green making its present known. Let's not even discuss purple. Or yellow.
I could shovel and scrape some of the snow from the garden. At Fenway and the Esplanade in Boston, MA, they are sprinkling dark soil on top of the snow to attract heat and encourage melting. I could do that. But what self-respecting crocus is going to poke its nose out in weather like this anyway?
I don't have a date such as Opening Day, or the Fourth of July, by which my garden must be green and lush. I have only my need to dig in dirt, to welcome back my foliated friends, and to be reassured that the cycle of life will, eventually, make its way around.
Nature teaches us patience, forbearance, and acceptance if we're willing to listen. And so I keep curling up in that chair and reading. It's not what I want to be doing right now. But it's a pleasant way to pass the time until spring.