Wednesday, April 15, 2009

signs of spring

In Minnesota, no season is more eagerly anticipated than the arrival of spring. Mostly because it shows it's face to us slowly, in fits and starts. It teases us one day with warm sunshine and soft breezes, only to plunge us into the cold, with wet, sloppy snow, the next.

Garden catalogs are well thumbed by the time the dirt will let your spade slide in. The empty clay pots, that you forgot to scrub out last fall, are calling to you from the garden shed to imagine the possibilities. The patio set, that never made it into the basement, needs a good scrubbing, and the cushions needs to be plumped and ready for extended family dinners of grilled hamburgers and iced tea.

The softball field across the street is now swept clean and rechalked each morning, and the sound of the ball hitting the bat echoes through the neighborhood after school. White legs glow from the short clad bodies of the children riding through the neighborhood, happy spring smiles stretched across their faces as they ride their dusty bikes.

A chorus of birds greets the first rays of the sun each morning, compelling you to get up before the alarm clock to cherish the beauty. Tiny shoots of bright green grass push through the dead leaves, yearning to touch the sun. The slender branches of the lilac trees are sprouting buds, whispering their promise of the heady blooms to come.

We will pack up our long underwear, our polar fleece, and our boots. The shovels will be tucked back in to the garage, hopefully for the last time. The salt and the slush will be washed from our car floor mats, and the sleds and skiis pushed up into the rafters. The last of the pine boughs will be pulled from the window boxes, and the forgotten Christmas ornament that landed in the herb garden will join the others, pushed far back in the attic.

For it is spring, really and truly, and we are more than ready for it.

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