Looking for spring

I realised that I don’t know how to look for spring anymore. There were days in late January where I breathed in the air and thought, “Yes, this smells like spring.” But three days later we have negative degree temperatures and ice rain all around, and I have to scrape my car for twenty minutes before I can leave my parking spot.

Not that I’ve been doing much walking, but even that wouldn’t yield many signs. There’s some seemingly evergreen grass on the ground, but no buds on bushes and trees. All for the better I say, because I think we’ll have at least two major frosts still.

Birds, singing of the birds. A birdsong is a pretty good indicator of spring. But the birds that inhabit these lands are mostly active in the morning, and I work a late evening/ early night shift now, so I’m deaf to it.

I suppose I could go by bugs. There haven’t been many. And goat willow! Of course! Goat willow bunches aren’t sold yet, so that must mean that spring isn’t here.

But that’s the thing – goat willow is a sign that spring has fully sprung, as this old Easter postcard shows us. What I’m looking for are small things of winter receding and slowly giving way to spring. Things that take place before the Vernal Equinox.

The reason I’m trying to see spring at all is because I’ve been trying my best to follow the seasons and align myself with the wheel of the year. I did that pretty naturally when I was a kid – I think this can be said about any member of my generation. Now that I’m an adult, though, and hardly leave my car, and my home, and the office where I work, and the supermarket where everything is in season, and contribute to the anthropogenic change in climate and the extreme weather it brings – it’s become significantly harder to align myself with the seasons.

I shall persevere, however. It’s important to me, it’s always been important to me, and as I’m shaking off the fog that’s covered my existence since 2019, the importance of seasonal living becomes more and more prominent.

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