Yesterday as I looked out the window onto one of the bays of Lake Ontario, I noticed that despite the ice on most of the bay that a blue heron was flying overhead. The ice chill wind off the lake was cold but the sun was brilliant and the sky was bluer than blue. The surest sign of spring is not so much the crocus blooming in the warm sun, their golden yellow, pale lavendar and dark purple heads a cheerful sight in the decayed and lifeless grey yard, the surest sign is me, on the front steps with a down blanket wrapped around me, book left lazily in my lap, eyes closed as I bask in the sun. I am sure some bird out there turns to his bird friend and says “look first human of spring”.
This morning I wake to the sound of a robin singing and a jay making noise in the yard. There is a heavy crispy lacy frost on all the metal surfaces when I look out into the sun. I take the dog out back and as he is looking for a place I look up and see the bronze buds on one of the trees. The sycamore stands tall and proud in the brilliant blue sky as two birds like silver airplanes fly side by side, the light glistening on their white bellies. I notice the forsythia is budding too, and reach up and touch the little blister on the end of my nose that I get sometimes at this time of year. I think it is an allergy to forsythia.
I come in the house and change my sheets. I will keep the flannel on for a little while longer but I take off my least favorite blanket and wash it too. Planning to put it away. I decide to start changing over my winter clothes too. Not all of it but at least the heavy wool, my smart wool long underwear and my corduroy jeans and my flannel pj’s. Winter is hard here, the heavy snow, the cold mornings, the soggy slush and salt grime. Spring is easy. It teases, it comes and leaves and comes back again first soft then hard then cold then warm, but steadily onward getting better and better until the summer is unmistakeably imminent.