Thank God March is already underway. And with it, pristine snowdrops and teeny fields of crocuses. For the last three weeks, here or there, as I drove through town, I have also spotted some witch hazel blossoming in full golden glory, the earliest tree to flower each year, a herald of the coming spring. Such a relief to the eyes and the senses when the color returns to the landscape.
Just two more weeks until the spring equinox arrives. And we will have officially made it through yet another winter. And the soft time in the year will have begun, when we can spread out and begin to live outside.
Already, as the temperatures rose in late February and the chill evaporated from the land, our bodies began to feel unburdened again and at ease, so that we could begin to release the stress that grips us physically when the air outside is always frigid. And we have to greet that air, every time we venture outside, by hunkering down into warm coats and hats and gloves.
It was a hard winter, but a short one. In fact, just the kind of winter I consider ideal. A tough January that takes physical and spiritual endurance but with warming occurring already in February.
On the other hand, we did withstand what felt like an entire month of gray weather, with low pressure systems and tons of rain. Enough rain so there will be no shortage in the reservoirs this year. Enough rain, so it made February a rather joyless month. Save for the last two days of the month, both so splendid, they felt like a gift. With warm weather that was great for walking and not a cloud in the sky on either day.
As I tramped with a friend near the Titicus Reservoir, the sparrow song from one particular grove echoed nonstop; the birds were clearly enjoying the weather as much as we were. Later that night, I saw a few neighborhood cats that had came out to hunt. And a raccoon showed his face before scampering away into cover and disappearing from sight.
So, unless a late reversal occurs, all this portends an earlier spring than we have suffered through the last few years, when March and April have been rainy, windy and cold. Fairly bleak months instead of enjoyable ones. So, perhaps I should not let my hopes run away with me yet. For all this might easily reoccur.
Meanwhile, March brings no better treat, each year, than the start of daylight-saving time three days from now. So that we can once again savor evening light, as our days grow longer and longer. I will be out soaking up the light. Hope you will be, too.
Mara Schiffren, a Campus Watch Fellow, is a writer and functional medicine health coach who lives in North Salem.