Spring: Messy, Muddy, Beautiful
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.