I finally thew away an acorn squash that had been sitting in the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter since last September. Much like myself right now, due to the current winter weather conditions, it had become frozen in time. Time, the ever elusive place.
Having never cooked an acorn squash before, I bought one at a local pumpkin patch with high hopes of trying to replicate a yummy recipe that an acquaintance had made. For whatever reason, I couldn’t seem to muster up the motivation or courage to cook a new recipe. So it sat there through the whole fall season and into winter like an unknown intruder trying to find its place.
At some point, I must have realized I was not going to cook it, but I also could not throw it away. That would be a waste, despite its growing discoloration and slow deterioration into a paltry excuse for a gourd.
There it sat.
The butternut squashes came rolling in and out of my kitchen all season. I baked them in stride or used them in soups like years prior. Their warm goodness found ways into my belly, but that acorn squash remained dormant.
Which leads me to my current mentality: Dormant.
Since moving to Pennsylvania last summer, I energetically raked my way through mountains of fall leaves and I am currently shoveling, though now half-heartedly, my way through piles winter snow. I knew winter in the north was way more intense than winter in Virginia. I tried to prepare by purposefully making a pact with myself to embrace the bluster of the season through the last day of February, at which point I could slowly allow myself to long for warmer weather and buds on the trees. I braced myself. And then, I relaxed into a sled with my kids and threw some snow up in the air. The powdery white stuff sprinkled all around us with festive buoyancy.
Somehow about a week or so ago, my mentality about “embracing” the winter weather until March 1 got swept away by a snow squall. Much like the extreme cold temps of late – I am talking below zero at night for days on end – I am literally frozen. And not in an Ice-Princess-Elsa-I-am-going-to-conquer-my-powers-and-take-back-my-kingdom-in-green-fashion kind of way. More like, frozen in time with no desire to do much of anything, except survive this wicked season and long for spring.
I need sunshine!
I need park play dates!
I need daffodils!
And for the love of God, I need to throw away that acorn squash.
So I did.
As if I thought that would somehow keep the seasons moving along, I slam-dunked that sucker back to where it came from. Somehow in doing so, it gave me the motivation to try to surge some momentum out of hibernation.
The snow and ice and negative temperatures have remained since Acorn Squash Purge Day, but somewhere underneath I know there is a blade of green grass. March 1st is on the horizon and still seems like a (somewhat) safe time to start washing and storing scarves and long underwear. Although March can sometimes lash out in late-winter brutality, at least its arrival means the start of spring.
Spring. Less than four weeks away.
Even though I still feel somewhat trapped in the doldrums of my dormant self, the birds will eventually start chirping again, right? Spring temperatures will arrive and seem that much toastier having endured the wretched winter, right? I imagine that going through such an extreme seasonal shift must feel like being frozen in time, too. Although the ever-ellusive this time I will be at the height my jump on a big Trampoline basking in all the glory that comes with triumph over someone such as Jack Frost.
I’ll thaw to that thought.
I do not feel any waves of heat just yet, quite the contrary with no break in the weather forecasted, but at least when hubby arrives home from work it is, in a literal sense, still light outside. The days are getting longer, and I am gripping my frozen fingers around that ray of spring hope.
Until then, I am more than longing to escape outside and breathe fresh air without seeing a cloud of condensation escape from my mouth due to the bitter cold air. I have a feeling that after filling my lungs with warm air, a magnificent exhale of gratitude for the renewal that comes with spring will exude energy. Just like our Creator intended. Here comes Peter Cottontail.
And then I bet, before I know it, life will roll right along into summer like a beach ball floating effortlessly on water. My family and I will celebrate our one-year anniversary of living in our new home, and we’ll be all the wiser for what is to come as more seasons cycle ahead.
Indeed, the seasonal shifts render purpose: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
Now go read Ecclesiastes 3:1. After you finish, put Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds on repeat and have yourself a cup of cheer. Chirp, chirp.
Ever the (dormant) optimist I am always eager for what lies ahead. Preferably green meadows and sun glasses. Maybe next fall I’ll give that acorn squash recipe another try, but for now I am dreaming of other kinds of produce with seeds – strawberries would be nice. I speak not of the frozen kind.
Time Marches on.