Oh, you guys. It is just. so. cold here. Still.
I know that you all in the rest of the country, those of you enjoying apple blossoms and purple crocuses, and sun-warmed soil are probably pretty sick of hearing those of us in the frozen north whinging about how cold it is, and how much snow we've gotten, and how this winter just feels like it is never going to end. But really. The cold! My winter coat and wool hat and mittens are still in daily use. And the snow? Still here, in dingy brown, icy patches. Our neighbors on the north side of the street have taken to shoveling their yards, spreading out the piles a bit, in hopes of harnessing what few sunny rays there are to help divide and conquer. The banks left by the plows at the edge of parking lots are starting to look like modern sculptures of souls in torment as they unevenly and ever-so-slowly start to melt away. And this winter? Like an unwelcome guest that has flopped around on the couch and left his trash all over the house and hogged the bathroom for way too long, we are ready to say goodbye. No more romantic images of cozy evenings, snuggled in our warm little house. No more bright sparkling days of sledding and snowman making. We are so done, and yet spring seems so maddeningly slow in coming. This is why, when I happened to jog past the marsh yesterday and caught a glimpse of white in the distance, I stopped, stared, and then hotfooted it home to yell at the family, "Grab the binoculars and get in the car! I think there's a swan in the swamp!" And indeed, in the company of the red-winged blackbirds, the herons, and the mallard ducks was the majestic and impossibly beautiful figure of a mute swan. We take it as a good sign. There may be hope for us yet.