Mud Season


B and I are heading to Oregon tomorrow for Spring Break. I am so excited that we will have a few extra days to spend at our home in the Grove, not just a rushed weekend. I would LOVE to spend much of Spring Break gardening, but the weather report says rain, rain, rain. I’ll probably be out there anyway, in my flowery mud boots. All this thinking about rain and mud reminds me of one of May Sarton’s beautiful poems, “Mud Season”.

Mud Season
by May Sarton

In early spring, so much like late autumn,
Gray stubble and empty trees,
We must contend with an unwieldy earth.
In this rebirth that feels so much like dying,
When the bare patches bleed into raw mud,
In rain, in coarsening ooze, we have grown sluggard,
Cold to the marrow with spring’s non-arrival:
To hold what we must hold is iron-hard,
And strength is needed for mere survival.

By dogged labor we must learn to lift
Ourselves and bring a season in;
No one has ever called child-bearing easy,
And this spring-bearing also asks endurance.
We are strained hard within our own becoming,
Forced to learn ways how to renew, restore.
Though we were dazzled once by perfect snow,
What we have not has made us what we are.

Those surface consolations have to go.
In early spring, so much a fall of will,
We struggle through muds of unreason,
We dig deep into caring and contention;
The cold unwieldy earth resists the spade.
But we contend to bring a difficult birth
Out from the lack of talent, partial scope,
And every failure of imagination.
Science and art and love still be our hope!
What we are not drives us to consummation.


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