It is time now for egg salad with good mayonnaise, a little mustard, and a spoonful of sweet salad cubes (Mount Olive for me, please), and you certainly don’t need
It is time now for egg salad with good mayonnaise, a little mustard, and a spoonful of sweet salad cubes (Mount Olive for me, please), and you certainly don’t need a recipe for that, but it makes me happy that Mildred Council made sure to include one, easy enough for a light lunch, in her Mama Dip’s Family Cookbook, and there’s one in the Greensboro Junior League’s 1978 Out of Our League cookbook, too, a classic hostess offering for an afternoon visit from a neighbor. You have time to make that pitcher of tea, now, don’t you? And there is always time for a slice of lemon meringue pie.
It is time now for early morning trips to the farmers market for radishes and dandelion greens and turnips and asparagus, perfectly plump and heaped in mounds in the wooden bins; it is time to fill our jam jars, our vases, our buckets with bunches of apricot tulips, pink peonies, lavender sweet pea, delicate colors that ease us gently into this fresh new season.
At home, my daffodils, fingerling size just a month ago, are finally full-legged and upright, emerged from their winter hibernation alive and awake, and seeing all of this — the outstretched arms of budding dogwoods; the green shoots of grass, reaching for the sun — makes me feel alive and awake, too, nudged, finally, by the arrival of spring.
We’ve been waiting all this time.
It’s time now for grand openings: open all the windows to air out the house, to let in the sound of birdsong, of wind chimes dangling from the eaves of the porch; opening day at the baseball stadiums for the Down East Wood Ducks, for the Durham Bulls, for the Asheville Tourists; open the cover on the backyard grill for barbecued chicken, sticky with sauce; open the shed to check the lawnmower; open the cedar chest to store winter’s blankets and shake out the log cabin-patterned quilt, the Carolina Lily quilt, heirlooms now, but their colors — remarkable, after all this time — still dazzle. Open the earth with the weeder, the digger, the tiller to ready a spot for summer’s squash and tomatoes, for golden marigolds.
It’s the season to find the open fields, the pastures, the meadows with patches of clover, soft and cool on bare feet. My aunt Joanna, an artist, had an amazing ability to find four-leaf clovers, which she’d pluck and hand to me to press between book pages, a gift to discover years later, long past the time when I’d forgotten they were there.
I think of pulling books from the shelves and opening, randomly, to see what treasures appear. An inscription, in my grandmother’s looping cursive; an underlined passage of a poem; a recipe notation from my dad — “add more cocoa” or “good!” — memories of time spent with people I’ve loved.
And my heart opens with joy.
Editor in Chief