From winter to spring… and back again


When the alarm blares at 6 a.m. I hear the rain, falling softly in the gutters outside my window.

The air smells of wet earth.

I noticed that change in the air a week ago – something different, something living in the cold wind in my face. Fierce, still cold, but living in a way it hasn’t been since December 1, when winter came.

All week that change has grown. Sunshine poured out and snow drifts melted away. Birds woke in the hedges, chattering and warbling in the branches. A dove called soft, and I hadn’t realized they’d fallen silent until I heard that soft voice again.

Vesper took up a perch on the back of the couch, watching birds flit past the window, soaking the sunshine in.

Melting snow made rivers down the edges of the road, chattering in the drainage pipes. More green heads of fast-growing flowers broke through the soft earth. Hard, brown leaf buds started to swell inside their casings.

And over all there’s the air; the smell of the soft dirt, the life that runs in it and through it. Chill mornings and fast-cooling nights can’t hide it.

It’s raining today, but the temperature’s dropping. It was warmer when I parked along the curb at work just before 7 this morning than it is now.

Five to six inches of snow tonight, they’re saying, and I remember that it’s just February, and that the calendar doesn’t greet a new season for a month.

But I felt the life in the air and smelled the rumor of growing things and the snow may be falling now but it can’t last.

Something happened and something started and it can’t be stopped.

(Or that’s what I’m telling the snow when it comes, burying my tiny daffodil spikes under a frozen blanket of winter.)

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