So, here we are, April, and still it doesn’t quite feel safe to assume spring is here, really. We get little hints, sometimes we even find ourselves completely overdressed in the sunshiny tilting towards springtime world, but beware: waking up to a blue sky day doesn’t mean it’s not cold enough to see your breath, out there in the sunshine.
This winter has been hanging on with a death grip. My main barometer for weeks and weeks has been the ice at Fresh Pond, which seemed like it might stick around until August. After a 2013 winter that offered up wide swaths of open water, 2014 iced over but good, and looked to stay that way for a long, long run.
I ran into the Fresh Pond Reservation ranger the day I took that photo up above. She bet the ice wouldn’t go out until April 15th. My bet was a more optimistic April 5th.
I hadn’t realized how much it mattered to me, to perambulate around blue open water after months and months of gray. The view doesn’t change much when what you’re looking at is snow and ice, all around, and a sun that just scoots above the horizon. Walking in April reminds me to notice where the sun is, how high in the sky. I get that sense, Monet-like, of how the light plays on the water at different times of day, from different perspectives. Truly, the best part about circumnavigating my reservoir is that I see it from every possible angle. I’d missed that sparkle.
I love the times when I’m walking around on an overcast day, and I don’t even realize there’s some blue sky breaking through until I see it reflected in the reservoir. Reminds me to look up.
Still, the cold has held on. And it takes you by surprise. A couple of times I’ve headed out at the end of the day, not having noticed that the wind had kicked up and my down coat would have been a better choice. I’ve often made fun of the outfits I see in Harvard Yard, where the world’s smartest college freshmen look out the window and think spring, without checking the thermometer. This past week, that was me, more often than I’d like to admit. File under: how is it I know what to wear when it’s ten below and blowing atop Wildcat Mountain, but I can forget to put socks on when April comes around? At least I’m not stuck sitting on cold metal bleachers these days, watching little league baseball. Now that I think of it, those early season games were quite possibly the coldest I’ve ever been. It’s all in the layers, or lack thereof. I learned to keep a down sleeping bag in the back of my car for extra inning games.
And yet, spring asserts itself, wind chill or no. Some things demand to be attended to, weather be damned, because of the date on the calendar. My grocery store shifts into Spring Mode as soon as they’ve swept out the red and pink Valentine’s Day stuff from the holiday/seasonal aisle.
Oh, and then there’s this:
Some championship trophies came to celebrate the beginning of the baseball season. Some championship rings were distributed. Some people at my house are a little bit excited. Play ball! And if you’re going to the game anytime soon, you might want to take that sleeping bag to bundle up in. You’ll probably need it.