was the first official day of spring?
since weíve opened the box, what about the first days later this
year for summer, fall and winter? When are the official days of
going to let you kick it around for a bit. In part because we
have some other ground to cover. In part because if you live where
it snows in October and April, or where there are palm trees setting
the scene for frosty drinks at a pool bar in mid-January, it really
makes no difference what a calendar says. And, mostly, because
itís lots of fun to let you make a quick decision and then second
guess yourself. (My words for your thoughts: ďDuh, itís the twenty-first
of such-and-such for the first day of that-season. What kind of
idiot asks that question? Really. Wait. Hold on though. Isnít
one of them the twentieth? Maybe two of them? Leap year? Does
leap year change things? Crap. No. No. Twenty-first. Crap! Iíll
bet itís a trick question.Ē)
all have certain things that we know to be true. Some of them
are specific-day events. Some of them are signs of arrival that
can vary from specific calendars into more generic observations.
instanceÖ it does not always snow on March 25th. But, if you live
in the northeast United States, we could come up with plenty of
examples where it did snow in April, never mind late March.
lots of people love Saint Patrickís Day. Good stuff, sure. For
me though, Iím more focused on what happens two days laterÖ March
19thÖ Saint Josephís Day. And, in that case, itís not for the
overall Saint Josephís Day. It is absolutely and one-hundred percent
for the zeppole.
a week ago, I was walking along the driveway, heading to the mailbox,
and I heard a woodpecker.
are certain sounds that I notice, even in a notice-but-not-really
way. Take geese. I hear them, honking away. But on many days,
I know I heard them honking, but it never registered when I heard
it. Walked the driveway, grabbed the mail, heard the honking while
flipping through some envelopes and catalogues to see if anything
good arrived, got to the house and closed the door, then for whatever
reason realized that fifteen seconds or so earlier I heard some
on the windshield. LookÖ in January and February, and even November
and December and MarchÖ I expect frost and snow on the windshield.
Iím actually more surprised on mornings where I donít find one
or the other to be dealt with. But, grab the brush or scraper,
invest a minute or two, then venture off with chattering teeth
waiting for the heat to kick in. I couldnít tell you if I cleared
the windshield one time or five in the past few days, but I know
woodpecker though. Havenít heard any woodpeckers in months. Brought
the birdfeeders inside for a bit when we were spotting squirrels
and racoons and skunks and rabbits more often than birds, so I
havenít seen any woodpeckers in months. And yet, there it was,
the unmistakable sounds of a woodpecker.
of got me thinking about spring. Not the date. And not really
the season. More the idea that temperatures are about to begin
moving higher and the days are going to begin getting longer.
forecast actually lists a day where the temperature is proudly
displayed as 53-degrees, and the breakdown for that same day features
the expectations of snow. Letís not put away the shovels and welcome
spring just yet. But the signs are there. The signs are beginning
to appear. And for some reason, it was a woodpecker that got me
thinking about it.