Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Forward

I sometimes feel like the character in the movie Atlantic City who said, nostalgically, that the ocean wasn’t what it used to be. In this case it’s true: spring ain’t what it used to be, at least from my point of view. Back in the day, my sisters and I would be taken to Best’s Department Store in NYC to be outfitted with spring coats—lightweight pastel numbers suitable for the cool and pleasant days of the season. And then there was spring cleaning! Polishing the windows, changing heavy for gauzy drapes, beating the rugs. Of course, spring cleaning never happened in any of my childhood abodes—we were lucky if the house got an annual vacuuming. But I certainly heard of this ritual practiced in other homes.

Our crazy weather patterns in recent years have been bringing us gray sleet switching to sticky mid-90s, with precious little in between. Flowers blossom and die in the style of time-lapse photography.  All of a sudden we wake up and it’s summer. And summer lasts a lifetime: hot hot humid days and nights. Fall and winter are no slouches either—they linger, with their spates of nasty rain and snow and bone-chilling cold. Spring is like a newborn baby—beautiful and growing all too fast. No pictures can really do it justice, this tender and fleeting time. You have to be there, really be there—feel the breeze, check out the daffodils, relish the sight of the bluest sky.

And this year, we just might have a real spring. We’ve had fabulous weather all this past week, and I have to keep checking the calendar to remind myself it's still March. Even when the temp dips at night, most of the days have been really gorgeous and mild. The birds are chirping away, the crocuses are in full bloom. Daylight savings time began yesterday, giving us another hour of twilight.

In theory, we should have had a couple of major snowstorms in the past month. And I realize we’re not out of the woods yet—we’ve had significant snow in April several times over the years. But I didn’t just write that. I don’t want to jinx the gift we have been given by Mother Nature (a.k.a. God).

Predicting the weather is a lot like predicting life...we may have the general idea, but are constantly thrown curve balls when it comes to the specifics. From the Farmer’s Almanac to Punxutawney Phil to Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz on TV, everyone has their guess as to what the morrow will bring, climatically speaking. On other fronts, pundits prognosticate about the economy, the political scene, the progress of war…but bottom line, we none of us really know what’s around the corner.

All I know is, today has been a beautiful springlike day. A day that’s brought back memories of a little girl wearing a robin’s egg blue coat, walking in the sunshine with her sisters. A little girl I used to know, a long time ago.

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