Sunday, March 29, 2009

Almost Spring

The hills again white, the elk still huddled in the low pastures, even though the wild currants and the elderberries are showing a bit of green, and the daffodils now bloom furious and bright. Strong winds blow through, shaking the house with a roar, almost smothering the rat-a-tat of hail on the roof and the deck.

The waitress pouring yet another gallon of coffee to the crowd huddled in the cafĂ© as the hail bounces again outside declares she’s had enough and is ready for Spring. We murmur our concurrence, our hands gripping the coffee mugs, fingers still cold and the ice pellets not yet melted off of my hat on the table.

Easter is two weeks away, and my wife’s newly bought Spring dress and sandals seem a bit out of place, as she huddles in a blanket by the fire, the sky dark with the next burst of half frozen something.

We came over the summit last night, snow swirling around us, almost sticking to the road, wondering what month is this? Almost April, or a return to January. We’re not quite sure.
Cooped up in the house, watching the calliope of hail, wind, sleet, sun, then a repeat, cats catch up on their sleep and humans devour the Sunday paper and play their music. My first screeches on the violin seem to blend in with the latest squall beating on the deck. The lawn was mowed a few days ago, when Spring seemed so close, yet, now, the grass lies half frozen with hail, and the birds eagerly mob the feeder.

I have to get out of the house and off my butt, and dare to walk up the road. A blast of icy wind nearly takes my hat for a ride, and I zip up my sweatshirt, trying out my new, summer-weight hiking shoes, wondering if I need them to walk through another round of hail before I get home. I make it as far as the bridge over Killiam Creek, and, on the way back, the sun feels warm and bright, and the air soft. For a bit, I imagine it is really Spring, until the clouds move back in and another blast of ice pushes through.

In a few weeks, the yard will really be in bloom and more flowers will be bursting forth. Yet, today, with the snow again in the hills, and down almost to the valley, I wonder. Nature is teasing us today, but when I make up the bed tonight, the winter blanket will still be there.

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