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April 9, 2009

This Wonderful Life

Sometimes spring requires a leap of faith

I cannot remember ever being so eager for spring as I am this year.

Maybe it was all the ice we had this winter. Maybe it is the small patches of snow that are still holding out on shady hillsides here and there. Maybe it’s the fact that I woke up to snow falling on an April morning. Maybe it’s just this Southerner’s realization that winter in Upstate New York lasts more than SIX WHOLE MONTHS.

Whatever the case, I am more, more, MORE than ready for spring to make her magic on the countryside. One afternoon last week, when I got home from work, I took Zuzu the dog outside and scanned the trees for signs of a new season. Driving past them at a distance, all their gray, scraping branches still appear bare and boney. Up close, though, you can see the first tight buds of a new season.

The snowdrops and crocuses have made their appearances in our gardens. I cannot wait to get out and make the gardens a little more presentable by trimming out some of those dead stalks from last year and raking up the leaves that were buried last fall under the snow.

And yet the snow and cold conspire against me, preventing me from my gardening responsibilities. Although I never entertain thoughts of moving to Florida, my mind has wandered elsewhere.

I search the computer for some happy, lilting music — something sung in French, so I cannot immediately understand the lyrics, and therefore have no idea whether the chanteuse is bemoaning her poverty, describing her broken heart or exalting the beauty of the cherry blossoms. As long as she sounds cheery, I don’t really care. Not my problem, Edith Piaf! I check the forecast in Paris. Highs near 60 and lows near 40 all week. Perfect. As I type this in the middle of the afternoon, it’s 29 F (feels like 18 F).

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