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The Octopus Basks in Sunshine
sunshine and warm weather and birds singing and buckets hanging from maple trees...
Announcements: First of all, if you know someone who sews knit clothes and is into body positivity and mindfulness, they really need to go to Mackinac Island this April for my friend Tina’s ‘Clone Your Favorite Clothes’ retreat. I’ll be teaching some mindful movement classes as a little side activity, and Tina will be teaching us how to take a favorite sweatshirt, or leggings, or—in my case—jacket, and create a pattern, then sew up a new item. The best part? All those sewing things you’ll be packing? You don’t have to lug them around—you check them when you park your car at the ferry, and then they are delivered directly to your room! The ultimate in luxury.
Tina is an amazing sewing teacher, so if you’re at all interested—or if you know someone who’d be interested—take a look at the retreat page on her website. Her spring and fall retreats are always the highlight of my year!
Second: I’ll be teaching Qoya at Unwindings this coming Saturday, the 18th. Intuitive, spiritual, uninhibited, sensual, deeply healing movement and dance for women. I’d love for your to come join us and check it out—just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know you want to come.
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This has been a weird winter, here in SW Michigan. Our snow came in three big dumps, at the end of November, December, and January. After each snowfall, it all melted and left us with bare ground. One of the cats had a tick on him in January. January! We didn't have sunshine in December, which is unusual, or in January, which is entirely normal. Now, during the month when we usually have snow and the coldest temperatures of the year, we have blue skies, sunshine, and fifty degree days. I saw maple trees being tapped yesterday, for making homemade maple syrup. The sap runs strongest with warm days and cold nights--usually this is March around here. I've never seen it in the first half of February.
As evidenced by that very unseasonable tick, the lack of an extended freeze this winter means that the insect pests won't have experienced as hard a winter kill as usual and might be a greater problem over the summer. Damage to plants, including farm crops and backyard vegetable gardens, but also more insect-borne diseases like Lyme disease. More insects mean more need for insect control, usually in the form of pesticides.
Plus, weird weather can affect spring frosts, which endanger our fruit crops--apples, cherries, peaches, blueberries are big crops in Michigan. A lot of people near us grow grapes for Welches. A single late frost can wipe out an entire crop for the whole year.
So, I'm mindful of the consequences of the unseasonable weather we're having. Mindful and concerned.
Warm weather and sunshine. I ordered garden seeds in December, with my usual optimism about how much energy I'll be devoting to gardening over the summer. Days like we're having right now, that feel so much like spring, make me want to get outside and start working. I could throw some peas in the ground and see what they do. Maybe they'll come up. Maybe they won't. I have landscaping I want to work on, with new beds that I started last fall and that I know will be demanding my attention this spring to make sure the grass is eradicated before I can put plants in. I want to plant potatoes this year, just because they're so fun to harvest. Dig up a plant and--Look! There's food right there in the ground!
I love sunshine. The short, dark days of winter drag on me, and make everything seem so much more difficult. Days with sunshine, even just a bit, recharge my batteries. I feel so much better with sunshine. The family joke is that I'm actually a plant, and that I run on chlorophyll. Days like yesterday, that doesn't feel like a joke so much as the truth.
Cardinals and robins are singing their spring songs, and I think I heard an oven bird in the woods behind our house. It's forecast to be warm and sunny again today. I'm going to go outside today, as much as possible, and soak it in while I can.