I think, just maybe mind you, that I might have survived the Winter here in this slightly south Polar Vortex called Ohio. I am beginning to notice some very tiny, subtle changes that just might herald Spring.
There really is actually grass out on the front part of this house. Yep, real green stuff out there, not just a coat of white marshmallow-like substance stubbornly refusing to quietly melt away. Not everywhere mind you. Oh no, certainly not giving up the spot completely yet. Snow and cold and wind and just generally rough and tough Winter herself is not done yet.
It almost seems like she knows that once she gives up her place she will be relegated to the memory, forever to be “last winter”. No longer a force to contend with, a problem to be reckoned with and hunkered down in. No longer something that brings every living thing within her grasp to dig deep into their inner being in order to survive her onslaught. No longer is she going to be In-Your-Face Winter. She will be something to brag about getting through, a subject of tales that will get bigger and bolder and more elaborate as the year goes on.
Oh, but here in Dog Cottage; here with the transplanted inhabitants alien to her incredible, bone chilling cold–we say “you can go now, don’t let the door smack you too hard as you leave”. There just has to be an end to this. There just has to be an end of her power to bring the whole of existence to a standstill. To relegate everyone to only those tasks that can be done under layers of wool and waterproof boots.
I long to be able to go for a walk with DaBoys in sunshine without gale force winds blowing us across the street and pinning us to the sidewalk. I so can’t wait to be able to stand next to them as they sniff and mark and shuffle their back toes to let the world know they are still there to take their place in the neighborhood dog’s hierarchy. Without me becoming a Frozen Popsicle bundled up in wools and layers with only my eyes showing.
I long for flowers to bloom, for green on the flora that is still just sticks. I am weary of looking out my front window and seeing what just could be firewood standing up straight instead of green leaves gently blowing in a soft breeze on the ends of trees reaching happily to the sky.
There is some splash of purple over there across the street. It just could be a very tough, hardy bush declaring that it will be the first plant to demand Spring to push Winter back to her frozen palace. It’s too cold to go out there and check that though, the wind is howling around my front door with its icy fingers trying to pry the perfect hole for it to burst through. It does make one wonder if Winter somehow knows what I am writing about her.
It has started to rain, cold wintry sort of rain. The kind that drives you inside from the cold wind that pushes it along the road. the sort that even the wild ones seek shelter from. There is one very brave sort of squirrel, with the cat from across the street right on his butt, racing through the drops. Somethings will never change, some parts of life just have to follow the play as it is written.
The howling wind is so strong it drives the drops onto the front window just a few inches from my little French desk. The voice of the wind seems to be sorrowing as it whips its way around the house. Is it possible it is Winter herself with a bit of wail over her time being so very, very close to being over?
Right now, today, I miss the California Spring. With the daffodils and tulips showing off their colors in February. The roses waking up and stretching their arms up to the sky with their tiny green buds at the ends. The sweet warm breeze that coaxes and teases the lilies to bring out their trumpet-shaped heads from the ground where they have been slumbering since December. The Jacaranda with their shower of purple falling on the earth.
In my heart, in the deepest part of my soul, I know Spring is moving north. I know she is sprinkling the land with flowers, with the sweet scent of new life, being urged on with the cantata from every deliriously happy bird perched in the green leafy trees. You see, in so many, many years of my life I have been at the place where she wakes up first. I have been one of her willing, eager fans as she skips and twirls in her glorious song of life. I have joyfully, with wide open arms, welcomed her every year of my life. Reveling in her renewal, her array of colors and beauty.
This place, this very much northern place, seems to have gotten stuck in the Halls of Winter. It seems to have gotten lost in the silvery, winter-white walls, blinded by the starkness unable to find its way out of the icy coldness. Next week we are supposed to have snow–again.
It is getting a bit less cold though, the temperature is creeping up to the 40’s and 50’s. I am sure some of these native peoples are eying the flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts in the tub marked “summer clothes” The season is attempting to shuck its bulky winter wools for spring’s light and breezy cottons.
I do suppose I will be one of those who tells tales of surviving the Winter of ’14. Everyone here said it was the worst in memory, or at least in a long while’s memory. There will be tales of trudging through incredibly deep snow to just get to the car to try to get out to work. And of giving up and trudging back to the warmth of the house to call work and say no way, not today. Of children railing at having to make up too many snow days, days they were out in it sliding and building forts and snowmen not even giving a fleeting thought to the end of the school year.
As in everything of life, there are always two sides. But today, this cold, rainy, wintry-still day, I have had enough! I am of the belief that Spring is tardy. No more dawdling now. Evict Winter, send her packing, back to the Polar regions where she came from and bring Spring home!!