Spring really begins in the midst of winter,
When we are watching the smoke curling from chimneys
And we warm ourselves with comfort food and stories about warm sunshine.
Snow packs into drifts along every nook and cranny,
Tight against porch steps and crunching underfoot as the temperature plunges.
Freezing rain, snow and sleet blow in your eyes and down your neck
In what we try to cheerfully refer to as mixed wintry weather.
Breathing frigid cold air carefully so that it doesn’t sear your throat,
Fingers so chilled you have to pry them off the shovel.
Trying to sleep at night but startles awake as the house shudders in a gale,
Creaking and groaning as though it is a hundred years old.
Any day now it’ll be here, we console ourselves;
It has never snowed forever.
We plan for spring, wait eagerly for it.
What we’ll do when the weather is better,
Where we’ll go when the roads are clear,
How warm we’ll feel out in the bright sunshine.
After some weeks of teasing, snow then rain then snow again and
Finally, gloriously, a big melt. Hope flourishes quietly.
Then more freezing and rain and snow
With cold and wind.
We retreat back into warm houses
And woolly sweaters.
When it seems that we cannot take another moment,
Another snowflake or ice pellet driving into our faces,
Suddenly it comes.
The kids wander out of their houses as if coming out of hibernation
Yelling and calling to one another.
They’re testing out new rubber boots in super bright colours
Pumping bicycle tires and basketballs.
The birds seem to be getting caught up in the fun
Darting around still bare branches and the dogs catch it too, like a fever.
They break out of the back door and chase one another around the yard
Jumping and prancing, cavorting about and eating chunks of icy snow.
The maple trees are poised ready; taps in place and buckets waiting patiently
For those perfect first days that will signal running of that most anticipated of elixirs.And spring, oh joyful spring.