Spring is being generous with our town this year. She showed up soft and slow, giving the city some time to sort out the sewer drains before hitting double digits this week.
I went for a walk along one of our many paved trails. The snow had melted into a small river running alongside the walkway, the sun shone warm and the pavement beneath my feet was bare and dry for the first time in months. I turned my face up to the sun, closed my eyes for a second and was suddenly struck with an overwhelming urge to lay down on the warm pathway and soak up the heat like a cat.
Only two things stopped me.
One, the pathway is frequented by dogs who make generous daily deposits. While there was no actual evidence of this in the stretch of pathway in front of me, I knew the residue was there.
Two, at my age, laying down on a public walkway would end in chaos and ambulances. Well, I suppose at any age it would cause a bit of eyebrow raising, but with me the assumption would be stroke or heart attack related for sure. How to explain I was just experiencing a bout of spring madness?
And so I carried on walking, keeping my reckless ideas safely in my head and up off the pavement for the sake of all things sanity and sanitary. But oh how warm that pavement looked after weeks of crazy cold.
People have already started shovelling the snow off their lawns and into the streets. Last year, our first spring in a house in town, I was bemused by the practice. I figured it was just a case of some home owners being anxious for spring and desperate to start mowing their lawns.
Why bother I thought to myself. Another couple weeks and everyone would have a bare lawn one way or the other. Plus all that snow could have been soaking in and watering their front yard instead of the street. It seemed a terrible waste of both time and moisture.
This year I know better.
It’s the gravel on top of the snow, tossed there during the necessity of winter maintenance, that makes returning the snow to the street such a savvy move. It is much easier to shovel snow, gravel and all, back to the street for the sweeper to reclaim than it is to rake it out of your lawn when the snow is gone.
Right now the big bank of snow along our curb is still a few feet tall, but lowering fast. I am eyeing the shrinkage and waiting for the opportune moment to start shovelling.
Things are moving faster closer to the house. Look at this!
I call it the great receding snow line. There is no sweeter sight than a flower bed emerging from the snow. This is my first spring in five years that I can step into a garden and see what has returned from all the mad planting I did the year before.
Am I excited? You bet. I could just roll around on the ground kind of excited. But I won’t. At least I am pretty sure I won’t.