You wouldn't know it by the weather today, but by all accounts it's been a mild winter here. Maybe the weather gods are making up for last year--it was long, and wet, and we were all soaked to the skin (metaphorically but also occasionally literally if you were optimistic and walked out the door without a raincoat) by the time spring rolled around in earnest. Or maybe this is our new reality, and winters are just going to come through without teeth from now on. Either way, I haven't felt nearly as stir-crazy as I did this time last year, and the city doesn't feel stir-crazy either. Last year everyone felt volatile and fit to burst at any minute, or else they were depressed, or a combination of both. Then again, maybe that was just me.
Anyway, the point is, it's been mild here in the valley and I can already feel hints of spring in the air. On my runs through Reed and East Moreland, I've been watching as trees have slowly, tentatively, begun to bud out, the tips of their branches just barely thickening. I've been noticing the tender green shoots barely beginning to startle awake, their green heads peeking over the edge of dark, musky soil. The birds are beginning to trill again, all the creeks are settling back down into cheerfulness instead of swollen with the rage of winter water. Everything is coming back around to kindness, I mean, everything is starting to feel generative again.
I've been writing more than I ever have before, and it feels good--I didn't know that writing is a muscle, although now I think of course it is--but I can tell I'm in shape. I'm fit and healthy and strong when it comes to my words. I can sit down and feel them there, waiting for me, all the stories ready to be told. I have the oddest feeling that the world is somehow mirroring this to me, that as I generate more work spring comes on faster. Me, my writing, the spring: everything's going at the same pace.
I wanted to get closer to it, to feel things moving, so I walked out into my own backyard and poked around to see what I could see. My herb garden lasted through the coldest part of the year and I have chamomile still bravely blooming (can you believe that?), and the hellebores are making their quiet faces known--the first real harbingers of spring--and the fern are looking especially radiant. I ordered seeds for my flower garden and new dahlia tubers to replace the ones I lost to last winter and my own laziness. When I was standing outside I could practically close my eyes and feel the heat of the sun that's coming, and smell the flowers that will grow, and taste the tomatoes I'll pick off the vine.
Maybe the worst of winter is yet to come, and I'm jumping the gun. But either way, hold tight friends. Spring's coming.