Winter storms have given way to a week of dead calm seas, and not a whiff of wind to break up this fog. It has been an unusually quiet January. King tides ushered in New Year havoc further down the coast, but at the moment- weather wise- we are holding out; waiting for our slice of spring sunshine as the wood pile growing smaller.
In anticipation, I make my rounds in the garden, poking at it in the hopes of finding a sign of spring: one pale shoot wondering who turned on the lights; a caterpillar rudely uncovered, then quickly restored to safety. My optimism might have to wait.
The remnants of the seaweed I piled on last autumn are still visible, but mostly they has worked their way into the soil. Abundant and free for the taking (with a rake, a bucket, and being careful to not take too much) exquisite clumps of ruby and gold seaweed arrived with the November storms and by summer will be rich fodder for the garden crops.
But now is the best time to dream of gardens, peruse the seed catalogue, plan pruning and plantings. I will reread the lovely little book on seaweed I picked up at the ferry gift store: a natural and social history of seaweed by the Dutch writer and artist Miek Zwamborn. Light, informative, inspired, the book ends with a list of recipes to be made with various kinds of seaweed from dulse to sea lettuce. On these slack windless days, stirring a pot of soup with a book in hand, seems like the perfect way to sail through the January doldrums.