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I love spring.  The flowers, the trees, the birds...everything coming back to life after a cold and miserable winter.  But the colour that most represents spring for me...the deep brown of dirt.

This time of year, we can not escape it.  If we are not tracking it in from the endless trips to the garden to plant something, we are knocking over one of the 8 crates of seeds that inhabit our living space because we don't have a green house, or I simply carry it around for ages in the cracks of my fingers: to work, to the store, to my friends.  It doesn't matter how hard I scrub it is always there.  You see, we live in Scotland...its not exactly known for its warm sunny weather and dirt + water= mud. Lots of it.

The garden itself is "earthsoup" in the words of Mary Oliver. After an hour in the garden, she describes how I feel perfectly in her line from the poem Swamp,"I feel not wet so much as painted and glittered with the fat grassy mires, the rich and succulent marrows of earth."

Coming into the muddy house, with muddy paw prints leading us through the rooms on a treasure trail to one sopping, dirty cat or another, nothing is as tasty as a cup of tea...except the idea of roasting fresh fennel and carrots, steaming fresh broad beans, sprinkling fresh sage and devouring fresh salad...and I can ignore the muddy season, accept the dirt and curl up with a cat and a tea and dream of summer bounty.


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