Saturday mosaic / by Christina Rosalie

The boys are checking out tractors. Three generations of men with long eyelashes scoping out farm machinery, their fingers nestled into warm jacket pockets, the air still stupefying cold. It’s nearly April, and the mercury can’t make it up above forty for more than an hour in late afternoon. Just long enough to get the sap to start running, before it freezes back up.

I’m in the dining room where the sun makes a pattern of rhombuses: bright and shadow across the table, and the woodstove fills the room with snug heat. The cat sleeps sprawled in the sun, while around the house wind moves incessantly, like restless spirits.

If I look hard, I can see the small buds on the trees growing rounder—as though the woods have been stained with a faint and hazy hue of red. And though it snowed yesterday, the ground is scabbed with mud and melt. Still, it’s cold out. Bitter in the wind the way it was in January, and my body has grown sluggish and soft from all the weeks indoors.

Today we ate toad-in-the-hole’s, ripe mangoes, yogurt and honey, hot coffee. Then packed snacks for a road trip to anywhere, but here. Spring fever has made us stir crazy, and we went looking for sugar makers and for barnyards with animals; for wind-whipped ridges and different sky lines; different windows to look out of, at the very least.

In a neighboring town we licked freshly poured maple candy off our fingers after pulling it from the snow in long golden ribbons, our cheeks chapped in the wind. People serve bread and butter pickles here, during sugaring, and home made doughnuts. Then we ducked indoors at a café where the floors were old pine in wide planks and the lattes were thick with microfoam and the coffee and foam was poured into a perfect bloom at the brim of every cup.

On the way back the sun made us squint. This American Life on the radio, Bean napping. We stopped at the carwash, and DH pointed the spray gun at the wheels, trying to dislodge a winter’s worth of frozen mud hugging up against the rotors. Small things, really, but a change of scenery; a couple hours to elope from our everyday where spring still hasn’t come and the laundry has yet to be done.