Signs of spring are springing up all over the farmers market. I did not get the radishes this time, but I did make a pesto out of ramps. I supervised daughter’s baking of the first rhubarb cake of the season. And for lunch today, I ate a salad made, essentially, of weeds–watercress, dandelion, and arugula. Since there’s no salad dressing in the house, I topped it with a little egg salad. All of this food is slightly bitter, or spicy, or pungent, but after a long winter of the same ole’ cooked leafy greens, each bite was a revelation.

While eating my salad, I briefly considered how delicious salads will be when the berries and lettuce greens and herbs come around. But today, this salad was good enough, possibly better. It’s the first raw food I’ve eaten in months. I wouldn’t dare think of springtimes past, when son would forage a salad for us from the front yard, or we’d come home from the market and cook together, invite friends over. Nor did I allow myself to embrace the rebirth of spring, because this is the season that my husband left us. Spring is not all about hope for us, not anymore. All there was today was this salad. I appreciated it, for its bitterness, for its freshness.


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