I'm not entirely sure why I was so happy to turn the calendar on Saturday morning, but I was.
Of all months, January is the one that's hard to pin down or get excited about.
Christmas has passed, Spring seems a distant hope, and the weather—despite the traditional mid-month 'thaw'—tends towards the truly frigid and unpleasant.
Certainly January affords welcome hibernation. After weeks of hectic planning, wrapping, decorating, baking, eating, visiting, and the attendant packing away it is nice to be able to sit back, exhale and do pretty much nothing by the fire. Or at least 'nothing' compared to what you'd been doing a mere 3 weeks earlier.
But for the most part, January is a period of suspended animation, like time spent in Nature's waiting room. Anticipatory, fallow, grey.
And then, with the arrival of February, it feels like the year is on the move again, and the wintry tramp towards the growing season has picked up the pace.
Being the shortest month doesn't hurt, of course. Funny how 2 or 3 days shaved off February can make all the difference in making a person think Spring is closer than ever, but there you are. And of course there's Valentine's Day, which means you spend the first week or so of the month thinking about that, perhaps making and writing cards and even baking something festive and pink. And by the time the Hearts & Flowers have come and gone, you look at the calendar and realize there are only two more weeks until March.
And we all know what the first of March means: Twenty days until Spring arrives.
Twenty days to get out the seed packets and peat pots and all those chopsticks you saved from the Chinese restaurant at the top of the road so you could skewer the brightly colored seed packets on them and poke them into the pots of moist wakening seeds.
Twenty days to think about what you might want to buy for the garden this year. More trellises? A few more large pots for lettuce and tomatoes? The Hollyhocks and Rudbeckia you've wanted? Another chair to replace the one that broke last summer?
Twenty days to consider what projects you hope to accomplish once the weather warms and the days grow longer. Painting the verandah walls? Reorganizing the garden shed? Sawing the last of the downed tree limbs so they can season for next year's fire wood?
Twenty days to sort through all the winter clothing and decide what you'll be relinquishing to Good Will in late April. (Less than should be, probably...)
Twenty days to clear away the last of the leaves from all the garden beds to let the spring bulbs and violets poke through unhampered.
Suffice it to say, my mind was awash with possibility, eagerness and hope on Saturday morning. And all because I turned the calendar.