It's that time of year when Spring is bursting out all around us. Spring is fickle and flighty, sunny one day and gloomy the next. But, as the nursery rhyme goes, when she is good, she is very, very, good, and nothing is better than a perfect spring day.
I love the rituals, traditions, and rites of passage that come with the changing of the seasons. Like the first day you go for a drive with the sunroof open, or go for ice cream, or wash the car. Gardeners have many Spring time rituals. In blog posts and magazines, lately I've seen many posts on planting and gardening (I'll be adding my own soon enough). The first trip of the year to a garden center greenhouse is another annual ritual that many people look forward to, and even cling to, during the long winter months (imaging how wonderful a whiff of tomato plant would be in February...ahhhh!).
Even places have their own rituals to mark the coming of Spring. Over the past few days, on Pattycake Manners, I've been following my cousin Ainsley's updates on the break up of the Liard River in their hamlet in the Northwest Territories. This is an event that they look forward to but with a healthy dose of respect for the awesome power of nature. As I mentioned last week, here in Northwestern BC we are awaiting the appearance of the first bears. Another thing we're doing is watching the snow come off the squirrel. Squirrel Mountain is so named because of a bare patch on the side of the mountain facing Kitmat that is in the shape of a squirrel. In the fall, when the snow starts on the mountain, we watch to see when the snow will hit the squirrel. Eventually the squirrel is all white and he stays that way for the rest of the winter. Then, come spring, he starts to lose his snowy coat. Right now the squirrel is almost snow-free again.
Sometimes I find myself remembering Spring times past. Remember how wonderfully light and free you felt the first day you could play outside without your winter boots on? It was like you could run forever, your feet felt so light! And lying in bed at night listening to spring peepers sending their froggy music out into the crisp, cold early spring air. And to this day, a whiff of a grass fire can send me right back to the South Bar of my childhood.
It's funny, but as we grow up and move along and away from the seasons of our childhood, when we look back and remember, it's often the small things, like frog song and the smell of tomato plants that we want to capture and hold onto. There would've been lots of material things I wanted and yearned for at the time, but for the most part, even those I acquired have fallen into the dusty parts of my memory and are not often recalled. But I will remember forever the feeling of running free across my front lawn in sneaker clad feet one damp April afternoon and feeling as if I could fly...