Mar 19, 2004

Lighter days

This was the week the snow melted. Granted, there's still snow in the mountains, which should keep the snow bunnies during Easter vacation happy. But here, at sea level, the snow has gone. The rain came and washed away the winter.

This morning I heard the seagulls. One sign of spring is the 4 am squawking of seagulls eating worms on the lawns. Or whatever the heck it is the seagulls are doing.

I enjoy spring, I like the slow awakening after 3 months or so of gray, naked nature. In February the magpies start to build their nests, and I've been observing several great tits fighting over the bird box my friend Torleif hung up last year. But now I can see the green grass and the ground. I can see a hint of green in trees and bushes as the sap rises. I can even smell the earth.

This spring's different for me, though. I have hungered for it. I have longed for the light, the lengthening days, the lessening of storms and bitter cold. I don't quite know why, though I suspect it has to do with my passage through this past autumn and winter being "dark" in emotional ways.

In the midst of seeing a loved one through her autumn into her winter, I have been desperate for something to counteract that ending. Something that would lift me and keep me going. A sort of hope or reprieve.

The arrival of spring is one less thing to dampen my spirits. And although the truth is that things – such as they are – are all right, I prefer to walk home from the nursing home in fading daylight rather than complete dark.

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