It is March 5th. Spring is around the corner but still we are locked into winter. It has been a long and cold winter by southern Ontario standards. For over two months, we have had snow on the ground and temperatures hovering between -5 and -15 degrees Celsius. Walking has been hard because the trails are full of ice that has frozen the prints of boots, deer hooves and paws in snow that has melted and re-frozen. The air has been bitingly cold; forcing eyes to water and skin to burn.
For months now, the days have been short with darkness lifting at 7:00 am only to return by 5:00 in the evening. It has been over 4 months since we had leaves on the trees, colour on the ground, or warmth in the air. For months, it has been quiet with only the squeak and crunch of boots on snow and ice. No birds have been singing; no frogs have been peeping; no insects have been trilling. Winter is a hard time; cold and quiet; dark and isolating. It forces us indoors; separates us from one another; and limits our contact with nature. It presses us into our selves; forces us to look at the dark corners in our souls.
But that is changing. Today, the sky is blue and it is possible to believe that there will be an end to winter. The days are growing longer. This morning, a Cardinal is calling relentlessly from the tree outside my window. Yesterday, we saw Canadian Geese flying in formation. Soon the snow will melt, the air will fill with the sweet scent of living soil, and the skies will fill with birds and song. The grass will green, the crocuses and tulips push through the soil, and the trees will burst into colour with flowers and leaf buds. The days will grown long, and colour, warmth and sound will return to the world.
I can feel my spirits lifting with the return of the light. I find myself dreaming of days working in my garden, bike-riding by the lake on summer evenings, hiking in the Conservation Area, reading in the hammock nestled in the corner of my yard, and chatting with neighbours over garden tools and fences. I find myself longing for warm breezes through open windows, the scent of magnolia trees in bloom, grass as green as emeralds, trees full of white and pink blossoms, yellow forsythia bushes, the rhythmic call of Spring Peepers in the dark, and the plaintive call of a Robin on a summer evening. I am longing for Spring!!