Signs of the Season
Peeking out of the snow early this week on the south side of the house were daffodils, green and slender, with the slightest bulge at the top.Â This morning I saw crocuses and snowdrops.Â At suppertime, my son asked me if I’dÂ seen all the flowers in bloom around the house.Â Tonight, I noticed that today’s warm weather encouraged more daffodils on the west side of the house to come out of hibernation.Â Â The night sky was clear, and there was that smell in the air, that pulsatingÂ aroma of the earth coming alive, moist and eager.Â The ground gave way softly to my footsteps.
I noticed that the leeks I’d left in the ground over winter had been gnawed on by the herd of deer that regularly pass through my back yard.Â Is there nothing that they won’t eat?Â I’m starting to think that given enough time, they’ll develop a taste for anything!
I visited a friend in San Francisco last year, my first trip to the northwest US.Â The weather was delightful in January, a bit drizzly, but moderate in temperature.Â It was sweater weather, but everything was very green, and flowers were in bloom in profusion.Â My friend told me the weather never varied much during the year.Â It got drier in the summer, but it never got very hot or very cold.Â Some people love the weather there.
Me, I like the change of seasons.Â Summer means long bike ridesÂ and swimming in the lake’s fresh water, a reprise from the chlorine I usually swim in.Â Fall, the brilliant leaves, the slow shut-down of the sun withÂ the shortening days, andÂ that smell again, like the flip side of the spring smell.Â I love winter — snow is beautiful, even if driving in it isn’t so much fun.Â I think of a woman from Georgia I met when I was a child, a woman who’d never seen snow before:Â she was fascinated.Â “It’s all sparkly!” she giggled. Â And spring, spring is the reawakening of the earth, the anticipation of new life, theÂ season that it seems takes forever to get here.Â
I wouldn’t want to live where seasons are indistinct.Â And every season is my favorite.Â Especially the one I’m experiencing at the moment.