Although as I ride home the day has grown cloudy, grey and damp, I am not daunted. The signs of spring are all around us. It’s not only that the temperature can vary 40 degrees from one day to the next, nor that the greenery has been visible for a few weeks. It’s the small, almost imperceptible signs that I see daily that cause the hope of summer to bloom in my heart.
For one, it is the season of bags: those bags of clothes that appear or disappear in the course of a morning’s closet clean out. Many seasonal articles in our house just migrate from house rooms to the upper floor of the backyard shed, and vice versa. But in this fluid dynamics of textiles, there is always appears flotsam of things that don’t fit, and jetsam of things that do, but are past even the very informal style guides that operate here. Here, a bag goes to a woman at work to share with her numerous extended family. Over there, another destined for a sewing wizard who can fix broken clothes and make them live again. Still another tote will come to rest on the front porch of another friend whose husband was first to recognize this spring phenomenon of the running of the clothes. Watch out, Bulls of Pamploma!
Other signs emerge on any routine errand run: the wicker furniture out with new cushions. The annuals set out in their beds or pots, pansies especially. It’s light late into the evening, and the woodcocks are still buzzing and “peeenting” (see Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac) in their lovesick dances of romance. See that column of smoke from the grill? The dark bark mulch piled in the neighbor’s drive? Make no mistake and say hey to the sky: New England is emerging and letting the world know: we’re coming back, and we just might let you see us.