Icicles cling to the pines on the last day of March, 2011. "Out Like A Lion" this year, winter still resides in the high country of Pennsylvania in the waning days of March. The nightly news warns of a Nor'easter for the east coast of the US, with up to two feet of snow expected in New England on April 1st. We will get a taste of that here, too. We are all April's Fools this year!
More disturbing is the radiation being discovered in milk, in the air and in the ground. Its unique signature, Iodine 131, reveals that it blew in from Japan, fell on the countryside and was consumed by cows. Humans are at the end of the food chain, so this poses a 'tip-of-the-iceberg' problem for America and ultimately for the rest of the world.
The fight for freedom escalates in the Middle East with the struggle in Libya keeping us riveted to the talking heads. That part of the world seems so far away, but we are inexorably tied to them by our insatiable thirst for oil. Do we really care about the terrorized people there, or is it the price per gallon of gasoline that gives this such worrisome prominence on our news?
We busy ourselves with the ritual repairs of spring; nailing up the sagging gutters, rolling out the deep ruts made by the snowplow in the soft berm of the lane, replacing the lagging solar tracker motor loosened by the incessant buffeting of the winds, replanting the grass seed that didn't grow when we planted it too late last fall. We fuss over the tender eggplant and tomato seedlings that will bear the succulent veggie fruits of summer. It's too early yet to bring out the patio furniture, the chairs where we will sit and bask in the summer sun, the tables where we will dine alfresco on grilled delicacies and fresh produce.