Well, little darling, with all apologies to George Harrison, it has been a long, cold, lonely winter, and it seems like it has always been here. But here comes the spring.
At one point last winter I turned to my long-suffering wife and asked “Why do we live here?” I think it was 1 degree that day. For much of the last half of the winter passed, our driveway at the Rising ranch had more ice than a luge run. To make walking possible we coated the driveway with a metric ton of sand. Now that the ice has gone, all we need are camels and a few pyramids to start our own desert. But spring is here. The silly daffodils, the crocuses so short-lived, the forsythia so fluorescently bright you wonder if they are solar-powered all conspire to drive away my thoughts of moving someplace where you can actually walk to your car all 12 months of the year without it being an Olympic event.
That first time out the door without the winter coat feels like it must when they remove the ball and chain from a convict. The small critters that made themselves scarce all during the cold weather have come back. The little bunnies have reappeared. Where do they spend the winter? The Canada geese have returned to the pond down the road, and it can’t be long before the impossibly cute little goslings will be tottering behind them. The robins and chickadees and their other feathered friends rush around carrying nesting materials in their little beaks.
Even the prospect of the dread yard work, the hours with mowers and rakes and string trimmers seem like a vacation compared to another day trapped inside. Maybe this year is the one that I will try my hand at outdoor landscaping. Most likely that feeling will pass. The outdoor events return, the flea markets and yard sales and picnics and rides with the top down. The other day the wife and I had a disagreement over whether we needed jackets for our day’s adventures. At a stop light a girl in a skimpy sundress floated by and proved me right. I am pretty sure her feet never touched the ground. I have a friend who chides me when I write without my usual venom. I know this piece will drive him crazy. By way of apology, all I can say is spring is a finite commodity. I think that when you run out of enthusiasm for spring, you have run out of what the French call joie de vivre, the joy of living. I’ll be back to my nasty self next week. Right now I’m going to fall on my face on someone’s new-mown lawn.