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Spring: Messy, Muddy, Beautiful

April 6, 2011

Spring is a messy thing – a real hurly-burly of everything that nature knows. Mud is essential – and frost and snow and sudden bursts of summer warmth that crush the heart of winter with blinding light on the still snowy fields.

That’s how it is every year in Grafton, VT at this time, and, in The Old Tavern, we wonder at the sleepiness that spreads like an enchantment over the inn. Where are the guests? They were here last fall when the world blazed up in its end-of-season glory and throughout the endless snow of winter. And that is why we close for a short time at the end of March / early April.

But now is the time of rebirth when the earth’s children emerge from their winter womb – sometimes shyly like the snowdrop, that miracle of endurance, or boldly like the daffodils, stabbing their green spears through the mat of dead leaves to then unpack their brilliant, yellow choir of silent trumpets.

Where are the guests when the cardinals, the robins, the black-cap chickadees and all the huge feathered family go mad with spring song? Where are they when, unseen in the heart of the forest, the wood thrush begins anew variations on the infinite variations they have created for a thousand years or more?

These are miracles, truly miracles!

And so often, in The Old Tavern, it is the cook who turns to the waitress, who turns to the clerk, who turns to the housekeeper who then finds the innkeepers who have in their company the few guests that everyone is looking for, and over tea and cookies they all share tales of the wonders they have seen in the birthing of a new world.

Was it the woodcock, practically invisible in the dry grass by the walking trails at Grafton Ponds, or the kettle of hawks circling in the blue sky above Bear Hill, the shy fox stalking mice in the meadow, the sheep and their exuberant lambs nibbling the tender new grass? Or was it trees? The glorious flowering of maples, black cherry, ash and the exquisite white clouds of shad?

There is no end to the miracles of spring, and for us – we whose lives are lived at The Old Tavern and whose fulfillment is to share the joy and excitement of our world with those who come here for retreat and renewal, there is no time like springtime.

After a short two week break, we’re back in operation on April 14. Please join us in celebrating the rejuvenation of a new season in Vermont, in Grafton and at the inn.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Raymond Harrison permalink
    April 7, 2011 8:16 pm

    If you continue to write like Charles Dickens and Henry David Thoreau, the Inn should fill in no time!

  2. Bob Mulrey permalink
    April 7, 2011 8:27 pm

    Great Bill. I always lover hearing about the wonders of Grafton even if there is mud involved! You are a big reason why we love coming back year after year! Keep blogging See you soon.

  3. Tom Hogan permalink
    April 7, 2011 9:01 pm

    As always, Bill writes with elegance.

  4. Janet Campbell permalink
    April 7, 2011 9:28 pm

    Never visited Grafton in the spring but have always suspected it must be beautiful and fresh underneath that three foot mantle of snow we’ve enjoyed in the winter. Outside my window now in Alpharetta, Georgia, the azaleas are pink, white, and red, and the trees, most past blooming, carry chartreuse leaves, so we have our own flush of spring fever. But the hospitality and warmth of the Old Tavern and its staff this past winter remain pleasant thoughts.

  5. Millie Haseltine permalink
    April 8, 2011 12:54 pm

    Amen and well done, Bill!!! We really severve springtime this year….

  6. Millie Haseltine permalink
    April 8, 2011 12:56 pm

    That should read deserve instead of severve.

  7. Jim Cassidy permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:33 pm

    So, Bill, in addition to your many other gifts, you are also a man of words. Well done piece on Spring. Such could only come from someone who knows whereof he speaks. You paint a wonderful picture of Grafton and the Tavern.
    Thanks. Hope to see you soon.

  8. April 11, 2011 8:46 pm

    May I add that today is my dad – aka Blogger Bill — ‘s BIRTHDAY!! Many happy returns to you, Pop!! I hope you’ll continue sharing your beautiful poetry and prose with the world here on the OT Blog!! ❤

  9. Lisa Brande permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:19 am

    Bill! May your birthday be as wildly life-affirming as the tiny lilac buds and green sheathed daffodil heads outside my spring window in Putney! Nice Spring piece here. and…I JUST made the connection between you and Anneke. Duh!
    Lisa B.

  10. Peter Dobson permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:53 am

    Happy Birthday to you Bill. Looking forward to meeting you and spending the weekend @ The Old Tavern when my daughter and future son-in-law celebrate their wedding on the weekend of July 8 and 9. Can’t wait!!!!!!

  11. April 23, 2011 1:35 am

    I was surprised by one of woodcocks just the other day. Amid the mud are snowdrops and the tender tips of day lilies. Everyday is so beautiful when you have to wait to see spring lurch forth.

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