The in-between time
By Rev. Lee Alison Crawford
About a month ago, I finally got outside on snowshoes to create walking paths up in the woods behind Church of Our Saviour on Mission Farm Road in Killington. Up until mid-March, the temperature simply prohibited a leisurely walk outside; even with layers and layers on, I always felt frozen. Finally, on a warm March afternoon, I stomped my way up the driveway that runs between the church building and Mission Farm Bakery and gives access to our walking trails.
When I returned to the road an hour later, I looked over to the guest house, a former carriage barn, and groaned. The entire roof had dumped its load of snow and ice, including a huge block of ice that landed on the pathway between the road and porch. There was no point in complaining: the ice had to go right then, because the temperature was going to drop and everything would freeze up. Up and over the four-foot banks of snow it went, broken up into manageable pieces.
We all know that feeling in late March, when we look at the mounds of dirty snow and wonder if they will ever melt and go away. We also know that as the temperatures rise and things begin to thaw out, a different sort of work awaits us: cleaning up the messes left by winter.
So we find ourselves now in that in-between time of winter to spring. We live in this transitional season — the resort shifts gears, and innkeepers and restaurant personnel take a breather. Life slows down for a moment as we collectively take our breath.
Vestiges of winter remain, though. The water supply line between the house and church has yet to thaw — that frost line did go rather deep this winter — but it will someday. The wild chervil already is sprouting in the garden, so I need to dig it up. All the gravel and sand that made the road accessible on those cold winter nights and days needs to be raked out of the grass. This clean-up, which repeats itself each year, gives structure to the season and situates me in space and time.
Despite these Sisyphean tasks, I relish the advent of spring. Our days now span almost 14 hours, the temperatures really will rise, the hillsides are taking on that faint pinkish hue as trees begin to set their leaves, and, best of all, I heard peepers for the first time last night. Perhaps spring will come after all and get us beyond this in-between time.
“Musings from Mission Farm” is an occasional reflection on life in the valley on the Sherburne Flats. Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal) has ministered to the Killington region since 1894 and welcomes all. The Rev. Lee Alison Crawford serves as its pastor and also volunteers as a Mountain Ambassador at Killington.