Here’s to the first day of spring

First of all, I think “Old Man Winter” should read the book, “The Language of Letting Go.”
I think the crusty cold curmudgeon has some serious issues.
Secondly, if he doesn’t let go soon, I will put on my “Gandalf” hat, slam my wooden scepter into an axe-handle deep snow bank, utter loudly “You Shall Not Pass!” and send winter into an abyss.
And thirdly—in the words of Forrest Gump—“That’s all I have to say about that.”
Besides, it’s March 20 and no matter what else is going on outside, nothing can override the fact that this is the first day of spring!
It’s due time to bang the drum for what I believe is to be an astronomically-welcomed season.
Emily Dickinson wrote some wonderful words of wisdom in her poems. “I dwell in possibility . . .” is a favourite “Sage Emily” line.
“I dwell in possibility” sums up how I feel about what’s coming. Smell those rain showers, listen to that thunderstorm, see those daffodils peeking out of the flowerbed, and give me a rake!
Dickinson also wrote a fine little poem about hope. Stand at the window, look outside at all the snow, and repeat after me: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”
My friend and I enjoy good conversation and, of late, all the talk is centered around the harbingers of spring—those sights, sounds, and olfactory markers that herald the long-awaited greener pastures, ice-out, and sailing waters.
There we are, sitting at the kitchen table swapping exciting stories about seeing clusters of newly-awakened flies buzzing in the porch window and the odd ladybug or two that suddenly has appeared crawling up the wall while she spits green gunk from her bottom end.
Signs of spring. Yes. We are overjoyed at these futuristic indicators.
I think most grown-ups would agree that the coming of spring has been a celebratory part of life since childhood. Who doesn’t remember their own rubber boots in April puddles at ages five, eight, and 10? Or that twig stick used to make little river beds in the gravel that would drain the water puddles of melting snow and gush them flowing out of the yard.
What did you float and race in those streams?
For my friend, it was half of a clothespin that called itself a boat. For me, it was half of a matchbox or a little piece of cardboard. These were the heralds that spoke to us of spring.
Soon the palette of colour that the sunrise bakes across the horizon of a melting Rainy Lake will fill us up. My mother’s geranium and moonflower seedlings already are germinated, and soon the pepper plants will find their way through the potting soil and into the sunlight.
Today, I see the raven. This harbinger of spring sits on a fence post on the country road not far from the nest in the tree. He and his mate begin this guarding ritual in late February each year.
Seeing them is a most welcome sight as they greet and brave the cold, holding on to the inevitable promise of warmer days and the laying of eggs.
Baby chicks, pussy willows, leaf buds on trees, green grass around the septic tank, and thawing smelly dog poop—yes, even that recycled harbinger of spring soon will have its moment in the spotlight.
I even would venture to say that seeing a spider in the house would be a welcome omen . . . but that was before I found one crawling on the inside arch of my foot while I was in the shower the other night.
I thought it was sock fuzz until, when I tried to flick it off, it got stuck to my index finger. I had an immediate freak-out in the bathtub as I tried to boil it off with the showerhead before it fell down the drain.
Then I imagined it clinging to the drain hole until the middle of the night, when it would crawl up and out and be waiting for me on the toilet seat in the morning.
Oh my.
Nevertheless, as Dickinson writes, “Spring Comes on the World.”
I sight the Aprils, too, Miss Emily and I dwell in the possibility of it all.

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