Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21: Not such a bad thing

Say what you will about the time change, it is nice to be making dinner when the sun is still well above the horizon. The window over the kitchen sink looks west – if there weren't any houses in the way I'd have a clear view down to the harbour – and the best place to be around 4 pm on these early spring afternoons is puttering in the kitchen as the sunbeams work their way across the kitchen floor.

I say early spring but really it's late winter, and the sun doesn't shine every day. This morning began with snow flurries followed by freezing rain followed by ice pellets; around noon all the tree branches were glistening with a thin coating of ice. They glinted in the pale sun as though they'd been dipped in quicksilver, and as the wind picked up I knew a sliver of disquiet; the last thing you want when there's ice in the trees is a windstorm. But the weather was warm, or warm enough, and the wind helped with the melt and by the time I headed home everything was just wet, wet, wet.

I walked home through the park, cast iron fence beaded with raindrops, trees shrouded in fog, everything dripping. It was quiet: no bird calls, no dogs barking; just the vague sounds of water doing its work. I've yet to smell spring (you know: damp earth, worms, cut grass, the smell of a greenhouse early in the season); right now everything just smells cold and clean, with a faint mineral tang, like cold water from a deep well in a tin cup.

But things are coming to life. The forsythia bushes have changed from winter's drab to spring's yellow, almost fluorescent in the evening's gloom. Thin crocus leaves have pushed their way through the soil, and the fat buds of the tulips aren't far behind. If the weather cooperates, we might even see some April flowers. Last year it was agonizing to wait until the beginning of June to see lilacs in bloom, but last year we still had snow on the ground till mid-May. Who knows what's in store this time around. We can but hope.

Last night I took the ferry across the harbour to meet friends for dinner. The nearly full moon hung big and low in the sky, so thin it was almost translucent, like a sliver of soap or a well-handled silver dollar, edges thin from wear.

Tonight the moon was invisible, hidden behind the thick grey clouds. I hunkered down, with comfort food on the menu (chicken pot pie, lemon squares) and Paul Muldoon on the radio, and as it turns out, maybe one more winter night wasn't such a bad thing.

1 comment:

  1. I love the details, of course. :) Are the outside forsythias open there?! We are kindred spirits - I made chicken pot pie on the weekend! :)


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