“…my mother always used to say that the hope of spring is like the hope of heaven.”
~Annie Wilkes, Misery by Stephen King
Maybe it seems odd that I am quoting such an uplifting phrase by one of the darkest writers out there, but I don’t think there could be a truer one. Even replacing heaven with something equivalent works.
Regardless, we spend (at least most of us) three months of the year hibernating inside, looking out the windows to see yet another snow storm, yet another six inches of snow, wishing it was warm enough to at least take the kids tobogganing or that the sidewalks were clear so that you could go for a walk.
Winter blues set in, you start eating more (and that New Years Resolution to get in shape for summer goes out the window), watching more TV… and suddenly all you do is get up, deal with the snow (or cold weather/freezing rain/hail depending on your coordinates), get to work, deal with the weather, make dinner, sit down on the couch, and watch TV the rest of the night.
You suddenly begin to look forward to seeing your extended family on the weekend because it’s something different, even though in the summer you’re just WAY too busy to sit there and shoot the shit about absolutely nothing new.
But spring. First comes the rain. And in Misery, we know that the first big rain storm doesn’t suit Annie Wilkes very well. But I am all for the rain. Melt this snow, let me see my grass again. Actually, let me just see the 4 foot driveway markers.
My favourite things about spring:
1) No more snow plows driving into our mailbox. It currently looks like a twisted piece of hollow steel–more a form of art than a utilitarian object. (Where is the little flag????)
2) The birds return. The winter is such a desolate season. Such silence accompanying this season I believe could only be found on the moon. The sound of tires splashing through slush and the diesel engines are the only things that can be heard for miles. I’ve seen two or three flocks of Canada Geese in recent days, and THAT alone is enough to tell me that spring is on its way. If the birds are back, so is spring.
3) The rain. Some people hate the rain. Yes, it can be gloomy and depressing. But you know what? I LOVE it (as long as it’s not raining on a BBQ!!!). I love thunderstorms even more. Watching the dark clouds roll in from the southwest, knowing that Michigan was just pummelled and we’re going to get it next… Seeing the lightning, hearing the thunder… It is the PERFECT atmosphere in which to write, in my opinion. What I wouldn’t give to be able to sit by the window on a warm, dark spring day, and watch the rain glide down the windowpane with my laptop in front of me, thunder in the background, dog shivering under the bed… husband taking care of the babe while I muse… Sounds so nice.
4) The days of driving through a blinding blizzard, being sprayed by transport trucks as they pass on a highway which you cannot SEE to drive on, are almost over (or, if you are lucky, they ARE over).
5) Roll up the Rim at Tim Horton’s. We’ve won many coffees and donuts already! That right there makes going out for a family jaunt–even to the grocery store–more fun!
6) The buds. We have this GREAT GIANT oak beside our house. In the winter, you can only think of it as a tree that should adorn the front yard of a haunted house. In fact, this tree graces the cover of Stolen Prey. And while in the spring it is the LAST to get leaves, it is also the home to many different birds. When the buds open, everything is green. The browns transform, and suddenly winter is forgotten!
7) Flowers. While I am not a big flower junkie, I do enjoy seeing them. So bright and colourful. The flowers on trees like the Apple, Plum, Cherry, etc. I have told myself that ONE DAY I will go to the Japan Cherry Blossom Festival.
I could go on and on. Yes, there is mud, yes, there are floods, yes, there is sometimes the pop-up blizzard or freezing rain storm. But the funk, the depression, the blues, whatever you want to call them, lifts like an anvil off your chest. The weight, the heaviness, is suddenly gone. Life seems to have meaning again.
As I look out the window, it is freezing raining and -2 C outside. It doesn’t look pretty. But we can always hope for spring, because it is like a shining beacon directing us home.
What is YOUR favourite thing about spring???