The question on everyone’s lips: Will it be an early spring? We ask it perennially, and we can never really know. Winter in the rain shadow of Pikes Peak has been windy, cold, and brutally dry. We are more than ready for a change, but I hear something other than grumpy exhaustion in the voices of neighbors and friends. Recently there’s spark and gleam and restlessness. Willie the terrier, fifteen next month, sunbathes under the apple tree and, when he comes in, madly sheds. I watch a tall, hefty, middle-aged man in biking shorts wheel by and silently cheer, “You go, boy!”
At the feeders, male house finches flash their scarlet heads. Their brilliant, long winded songs fly everywhere at once.
One morning last week, surfacing from not quite enough sleep, there was a repeated melody. Oh so dopey, I lulled on my side and listened. A robin? Yes. A robin! In full-throated reverie. Robin! How easy it was to reel out of bed.
Within a day, the air on our block was full of robin notes. Strolling up the street with Willie I looked for them. There! Above the back yard where two golden retrievers live, a small flock announced itself from the wide embrace of a shaggy barked maple. Scouts perhaps? I haven’t heard them since.
Saturday evening, however, I heard rain, against the windows and on the roof, a shower. Already jubilant and breathing deeply the fragrant moisture, my body thrilled to a long, gentle roll of thunder, the first to rumble down the mountains. It’s a holy moment on which all time seems to turn.
Will it be an early spring? Anyone’s guess. There might be snow days as late as May. Yet, in the heart a quickening that storms can only sweeten, and in the pace of the old pooch, a liveliness as we step into the certainty of lengthening days.