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The Vermont landscape is raw and rugged, the backcountry blanketed in deep, wet snow and the city streets sullied by slush. Though my calendar tells me today is the first day of spring, outside it is undeniably winter. Yet life is springing from within, kicking and twirling with the lengthening days. She is the first sign of spring, and the sweetest. When the morels begin to fruit, I’ll know our baby girl will be here soon.

When the days grow long and sticky, and the chanterelles and trumpets rise up from the duff, she will be there with me as I gather the harvest. When the soil cools and the porcini pop, I will slice into their nutty flesh and let her smell the little piglets. When hefty hens roost on the aging autumn oaks, we will do the maitake dance together. When the matsutake push their fragrant caps just above the sandy soil, I will smell the cinnamon on her cheeks. As she crawls beneath the pines, the mycelium will quiver in delight.

She will bring light to the darkest forest; fruit to the driest pasture. My basket is already brimming.