It's 19 degrees outside as March blows in. I'm tired. I'm tired of being cold, of living in the darkness of the outdated, man-made time change that accompanies winter. I'm tired of the cold wind that blows almost constantly across the valley, chapping my face, cutting through my mittens and whistling around my double paned windows. Ice and road salt, long johns, flannel lined jeans, hats, mittens, Carhartt's, thinsulate lined, knee high, rubber boots. I feel weighted down and after four months, it's exhausting and I'm tired.
But March has arrived and today I'm hopeful. It's still cold. There are still two or three patches of snow and ice on the north side of the house where, shaded by a large tree, the sun shines only two hours a day, but the dogs are rolling in the short, brown grass. The cows are in the pasture and the goats are bawling to be let out of the barn into the sunshine.
The chickens are cluck-clucking around the barn yard instead of huddling in the two car garage that serves as their house. The geese and ducks are looking for grass. Perhaps they see something that my human eye can't, but regardless, the geese are honking happily and no one is sitting huddled beyond a fat, yellow hen who doesn't want me to take her egg. And this morning there are starlings.
Most people dislike starlings but I am not one of those people. I have to smile as I look out my window at the flock of starlings poking at the ground in my yard. So many that they're difficult to count, if one was inclined to do so. So many that as the puppy runs excitedly toward them, they call out and fly up to fill the branches of the 100 year old tree that reaches into the blue sky outside my front door. The starlings, along with a handful of smaller birds, make their cheerful morning noises as they hop in and out of holes in the majestic tree, scouting for promising sites in which to build their nests and raise their babies.
In a few minutes, I will again weight myself down in my winter garb, put on my hat and mittens, and go out to feed the birds and milk the goats but today I will walk the yard looking for crocus poking their heads up out of the soil to brave the crispness of the air and tell me that, finally, spring is truly coming.
On the cusp of winter and spring, I finally feel hopeful. There are eggs in my bird house ready to be sat upon. There is new life waiting to be born in my barn. There is the sound of geese honking, chickens clucking and Muscovies quietly hissing. There are cows grazing on last year's grass, dogs barking in a way that sounds like laughing. And there are starlings.