Sunday, 3 March 2013

Springing Forward

The dogs of winter still lie dozing by the door, sometimes springing up with a ferocious snarl, other times whimpering in their sleep, paws twitching. But spring is surely creeping up on them, no matter how vigilant their watch! Some signs that vernal equinox approaches:

You wake up at 7:00 a.m. and realize the sun actually got up before you did.
You leave class at 5:00 p.m., and the sun is STILL up!
Dogs and cats are shedding enough to knit new coats for next winter.
A riot of crocus, daffodils, and of course, tulips, has taken over the flower market.
A pot of flower bulbs, with its promise of the future, brings a smile to your grandmother's face.
Tentative green shoots are coming up through the melting snow in your garden and the cracks in the brickwork –shades of work to come!
The Paas haas (Easter bunny) makes an appearance in stores, along with all those chocolate eggs. As though an excuse for consuming copious quantities of chocolate is ever necessary in the Netherlands!
You suddenly find yourself quite popular with friends in the US who wish to plan spring and summer trips abroad.
You start planning outdoor adventures that won’t entail dressing like Nanook of the North.
Your wet hair no longer freezes, it just gets really frizzy.
You notice spring collections in clothing store windows.
You notice the gym is more crowded lately; the New Year’s resolution crowd has given way to people working off personal layers of winter in preparation for the aforementioned spring collections.
You see signs of spring cleaning, with everyone cleaning out closets, cupboards, and even friendships. (What DID we do before Facebook developed an app for that?)
Yes, it is still plenty cold and I am hearing more grumbling about the weather than ever; perhaps just cold-fatigue, much like heat-fatigue in Phoenix in early September. As in running a marathon, the last stretch is the hardest. You just have to wait for that second wind to ease you through. Like spring itself, it always comes.
Goethe said, "We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” Spring is a time of thawing, softening, reviving and redeeming. The hope of spring does spring eternal, even more so in its nascent state than in full bloom. The dogs of winter have had their day and they were not without their charms. However, perhaps now best to leave them lying in their hoar frost beds, and spring forward to a softer, warmer future!

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