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Spring is Coming

February 3, 2010

The holidays are a distant memory. No one with a February birthday worries about it being clumped together with Christmas. Decorations are back in their boxes. Evenings no longer twinkle. Darkness can only be dressed up for so long.

Even the distraction of a fresh-fallen snow has abandoned us. Children no longer hope for snow days, and their parents are less inclined to believe the prophets on teevee. Those crystals are cold like everything else, but at least they lace our eyelashes for a moment and muffle the sounds of traffic. Cold’s fairy tale only lasts for so long.

Gray skies blanket bleak, gray roads. Salt residue stains cars, shoes and tile floors – the gray trying to get inside. Sharp, dry air bites through as many layers as you bother to wear – the gray trying to get inside.

There is no gentle breeze to kiss your cheek. No bird to play a soundtrack for your errand. Even the occasional squirrel or deer is uninterested in your passing. The world pulls up its knees, clenches its jaw, and waits.

I pull up my knees and watch it wait. Even in my climate-controlled environment I can’t keep out all of the cold. I layer, even though I hear it laughing at me, clench my jaw, and wait.

We stare at each other through the living room picture window. Commiserating. “Spring is coming,” I promise. I close my eyes and imagine the feeling of sunshine on my skin, of a warm breeze in my hair, of grass on my feet. “The ground will thaw, and the tulips and hyacinths will come up first. The birds will come back, and the soil will turn over. Then, even the nights will be warm and alive again.”

The tree on the corner says nothing. The frozen grass pauses similarly. The naked bushes, the salty sidewalk, the gray sky – say nothing. They’re not comforted by promises of the spring thaw, and it’s no wonder.

They’ve been through more spring thaws than I have, but it’s not what they’re waiting for. As they stare back at me I can finally see how deep the gray goes. There’s a darkness hidden there than no sun can pierce. There’s a shade of gray that photosynthesis can never wash out.

This place has seen colors I can’t even imagine. My seed catalog daydreaming hasn’t touched the garden that used to grow. There was once a warmth in the air that reached further than skin-deep, and a gentle breeze that spoke much more than a whisper.

Spring is coming, but, then, so is autumn, and winter again and we’ll be sitting here waiting for spring. Followed inevitably by summer, autumn and another winter. Until the time when a truly new day dawns, and a new season starts. Then, there will be no more winter, no more death, no more darkness.

I close my eyes and try to imagine how that will feel on my skin.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Timothy permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:42 pm


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