Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush
—Gerard Manley Hopkins
Spring is doing its spring thing here in Colorado, which means warm days when I don skirts and show off my winter-white legs followed by snow and temperatures in the 20s. This morning, I woke to the grey of January and ice covering newly greened grass. Just a week ago, in the Valley of the Gods, Utah, on the very last day of March, I was so hot, I crouched with my dog River in the shade cast by the truck. That night, Greg and I slept with the tent windows wide open to the full moon. Spring in the Rockies is a fits and starts thing—no gentle bloom for us, no building to a glorious explosion of green. Instead one day I’ll see hopeful buds on lilacs and the next they’ll be encased in ice and I’ll know the waiting—for flowers and the breathless greening of the foothills, along with consistently warmer days–has begun.
Up on the mountain, spring was always a shy, elusive creature. I was never sure I was out of the winter woods until the first week of June. Until then, anything could (and did) happen: hummingbirds chipping through an inch of ice at the feeders in May, me scrounging for wood for the stove to take the chill off even later. But last year, the prairie, where I’m a temporary resident, had its own form of high altitude spring as a foot of snow fell mid-May and Greg rushed out to cover pea vines along with our patches of rhubarb and strawberries, spinach and radishes.
This year the wait has real weight as I hold my breath for June 5th when #RoughBeauty debuts. Writers are forever talking about how flat out hard it is to write and edit a book—how fraught, how onerous–but I’m currently of the mind that the year and a half I spent writing and rewriting was nothing compared to the six months of question marks and “what ifs?” running up to release as my thoughts pop like corn anticipating blurbs, buzz, and reviews. I waited ten long years to get this book out, but now–I want it out.
With roughly seven weeks to go and spring nowhere in sight, I’ve started my annual cleanse—three weeks of vegetable-forward food and twice daily doses of detox tea. My motto? Make it harder. I’ve never been the kind of person who hides from anxiety in a bottle or even in bed; instead I give myself something to put my shoulder against. So while I’m waiting for things to “shoot long and lovely and lush” in the landscapes of both spring and publication, I am distracting myself with the somewhat difficult task of trying to take as much pleasure in “power fruit smoothies” and sprouted grain tostadas as I do with duck breast laced with blueberry balsamic glaze served with a glass of bubbly. By the end of three weeks—and almost half way from here to my pub date—I’ll have shaved off a bit of the wait and lost a few pounds too.