Spring has been trying to show up, here in my hometown. It made a bit of an appearance, which I noticed back on March 1st most specifically. It was as if Mother Nature announced, “Hey, the calendar page has been turned, get a move on!” I saw my first snowdrops that day, and heard the first red-winged blackbirds. Spring had officially arrived, it would seem.
Except that it hadn’t. We got another one of those snowstorms a week later, the ones we’ve been having pretty much every Saturday/Sunday for over a month. This one was curiously under-hyped, since it was supposed to shift south or go out to sea, I forget which, and the temperature was supposed to stay above the freezing mark. Until it didn’t, and until we got another foot of wet, white snow.
Here’s the thing: I love March snowstorms. Always have. Everyone around me complains, like it’s the worst thing that could be visited upon us at the end of a long winter, but to me March storms are glorious. They are so lovely, and they melt so obligingly, before they even have a chance to turn gray. Those snowdrops, the ones on the south side of the hill, were revealed once again, in short order. I saw them again, just the other day.
Here’s another thing: I’ve never really loved spring. To me it’s always the end of ski season, which I adore, and the beginning of mud season, which is just ugly. That, plus I hate having to shed the layers I like—turtlenecks, for one, and my new favorite quilted jackets, thin and brilliant and lovely to have in layers under my raincoat or parka, or over my pjs. I despise being hot and sticky, and there’s always that day, sometime in April, when the temperatures soar and there’s no shade, anywhere, with no leaves out on the trees. I hate that, entirely. Hate sleeveless shirts. Hate feeling sweaty under the covers. I like it brisk.
That said, I get it, that spring is all about rebirth. Easter would have to be scheduled for spring, if the calendar didn’t already oblige it to come when the daffodils emerge. And I get it, how people who’ve been under the weather, literally and figuratively, ache for daylight that lasts beyond 4PM (okay, confession, I like that too) and warmth on one’s skin, direct from the sun. I get it, that it feels like the beginning of a new year, a new start. I can’t help it that to me, September will always be when new years truly begin, complete with new school shoes and knee socks with no holes in the heels, and newly sharpened pencils and holidays around the corner that involve stuffing and pecan pie. What can I say? I’ve liked both school and winter from the get-go. I was always ready for summer to wind down and cool off.
But this year, the notion of spring, of new starts, of rebirths, has extra meaning. I keep flipping the calendar to April and May, looking to see when chemo ends, when radiation starts, when it will all be over. I don’t know exactly how long I have to wait before the splotchy spots on my head start sprouting hair again, but I’m hoping it will be before May. I’ve been zeroing in on that first weekend in June, when Ian graduates from college, as my official It’s All In My Rear-View Mirror coming out event. I may be short of hair, but I will be done with all but the treatment that comes in pill form, some cocktail of hormone therapy that I’ll be happy to trade for what I’ve got going on these days.
So, spring, and its lovely harbingers of better times to come, are holding some sway with me these days. Here are but a few of the things that have made me happy, courtesy of the changing of the seasons:
There they are, those little beauties.
Thank you, JZ, for educating me about witch hazel. Smells like mimeograph sheets, remember that?
Pussywillows. Who doesn’t love pussywillows?
The slowest amaryllis in the land. Potted in December, blooming in March.
Okay, okay, here’s a sign of spring that I can completely get my head around. Today was Fever Pitch day. When a whole season’s worth of Red Sox tickets arrive, all shiny and new. Hope springs eternal. Play ball!