This just in, it’s spring!

A love letter to my favourite season

Spring feels like an iced coffee. It’s a startling wake up call: suddenly, you look around and the wind doesn’t sting as much, there’s more birdsong than there was yesterday, and the sky is a little bit less grey. Maybe the snow has finally decided to melt and stay melted? Are the negative temperatures gone for good? Can I put my winter jacket back in storage?

Don’t get me wrong, the winter is lovely. After all, you can’t spell “Winnipeg” without winter, so you may as well embrace it. As much as I appreciate the beauty and fun of the cold season, the smell of muddy, dead grass and wet concrete is too exciting to ignore. Is it particularly beautiful to see the trash revealed under the snow or to be reminded of how beat up our roads are? Well, no, I’ll give you that. But that’s not what spring is about. Spring is not about beauty, it’s about change, and the promise of growth.

When the sun makes its appearance those first few days of March, I could leap for joy. The foggy drone of winter starts to evaporate, and I feel as if I’m coming out of a tunnel I didn’t realize I was in. It’s like cleaning your glasses and suddenly the world is back in focus. I’m ready to start fresh, I feel inspired, I suddenly remember all the things I love to do. Spring is a breath of fresh air in my lungs. It’s the gentle reminder that life goes on, and that things do get better. Winter is a time for rest, spring is the morning creeping over the horizon, and I’m ready for the day.

Would I miss it if I left? If I ended up somewhere that was mild all the time, where winter was a slight chill and a few rainy days? Perhaps it’s the contrast of the seasons that makes spring so exciting. Would I forget to appreciate these small moments if winter wasn’t as harsh?

As a kid there was no better feeling than finally being able to run around without a jacket as the air began to warm up. One of my favourite memories was to crack and splash into the barely frozen surface of puddles with my bright red ladybug rain boots. My sisters and I would race to see who could jump into the most puddles, and our mom would have towels set up at the backdoor when we finally came inside. We ruined many pairs of socks in the spring, but what’s a few pairs of socks and some mud compared to the joy of puddle jumping?

Nowadays I don’t splash as many puddles as I used to, but the smell of wet grass still brings a smile to my face.

The most anticipated moment of spring, however, is that small flicker of green that appears on the end of twigs. The wrapped bundles of baby leaves popping up one at a time as the trees wake up. Soon, the canopy will return. Green blooms above in the branches and below on the ground. A couple of robins will build their nest together. Bright blue eggshells will fall to the ground as the chicks hatch. Worms will make their way out of the ground. The chicks will fluff up and before you know it, you’ll see them jumping around, learning to fly on their own.

Wait, is spring already over? Did I miss it?

A lot of us spend more time indoors than we do outdoors, including myself, so it’s easy to miss out on the signs. The next time you’re walking to the bus stop, or crossing the parking lot, or pumping gas, try taking a minute to appreciate how many changes are happening right under your nose. Look at the gap of melted snow around tree trunks. Hear the birds returning from the south. Smell the ground begin to thaw. Feel the splash of puddles under your feet. Taste the air, fresh and cool, but not so cold it burns.

This is spring: the slow, muddy, grungy shift away from winter. Soon enough there will be buds on the trees, baby birds in nests and shoots of grass popping up to say “hello.”

Most of all, the telltale whisper of spring comes from the sun. The drive home from work isn’t as dark as it used to be, the light starts to pour through your blinds before you’ve left your room and the shadows aren’t quite as long as they were just a few weeks ago.

“I’m back,” it says, “it’s time to wake up!”

“Thank you,” I reply, “I’m so happy to see you again!”