It is the spring equinox! It is March 20. It is 10°F. It is cold. It is windy. I haven’t seen the ground since November. The other night, Hot Swede asked me why I looked so sad. “It snowed today” was the answer. Spring in the north is a trial because it isn’t spring; it’s winter da capo.
Some day, some glorious day, life will return, banishing this frozen hell for 6-7 months before the icy darkness circles back around. In the north, Persephone spends a looong time with Hades. I am sick of the snow banks making it impossible for passengers to exit cars without bracing themselves against the salty exterior. The tiny muscles of my epidermis are tired, having been contracted in persistent goose pimples since November. I curse the snow always, from the first flakes in the fall to the obscene ones that I shovel away in March. I am done with it.
Instead of drinking myself to unconsciousness or weeping publically, I will focus on the promise of Spring, when life returns and we escape oppressive winter. I understand that prisoners sometimes use this mental exercise to make their captivity more bearable. It seems apt. Come with me to my happy place.
Melting ice cutting wandering channels in the ice crust of roads and sidewalks.
The scent of thawing earth- a smell of rotting leaves and waking worms- a scent of possibility. Sure, sometimes it smells like urine, but right now that is an improvement.
The first shoots of seeds, curling to push through the earth and then unfurling themselves to the sun. Worshipers.
Silent robins hopping over spongy ground, pulling up the biggest fattest worms from the garden. I cheer for them.
Purple points of peonies, rising together, growing to a height and exploding into fans of shiny leaves.
The song of a cardinal, angered by my proximity to his tree. I look around and spy his fiery breast in a maple, far above my head.
The sunlight as it passes through new leaves on the elms and maples, glowing new green- tender and vibrant.
The first day in a t-shirt, when the wind moves the hair on my arms. I will forget the sensation in a day, but the first time after winter is delicious.
The sun feeling warm again. Skin soaking it in.
The riot of color from the yard of my neighbor, who planted tulips in the fall. Thank you. Thank you.
The sweet smell and taste of dandelion flowers.
Sending children out and watching them experience these same delights.
Growing a thirst for something cold. Wanting ice but just 3 pieces and only in my glass.
Easy dressing. Smaller laundry piles.
Blowing soap bubbles.
Spending the evening chatting with neighbors up and down the block.
No one makes more of summer than tundra dwellers who know how short it is and how much more lovely than the other half of the year. I know that the first day the temperature hits 40° people in t-shirts will walk their dogs. Once it hits 60° college girls will start sunbathing on lawns and runners will go shirtless. Gardeners are looking through seed catalogues with a flush on their cheeks and lust in their eyes. Sweet Persephone, come back. It is time.