As a human being, I am designed to use logic to draw potential conclusions to questions and thoughts. I know this. I know that realistically, here in the cold northern Canadian prairies of Canada we have another three months of winter left. I know that all of the tomorrows until March or April will have falling snow, biting wind, and grey skies. I know that I must keep my winter boots by the door and the mittens in the basket. But, I crave so deeply to be able to store them away and spend my evenings with a glass of wine studying my sprouting garden. I crave sunlight and that deep earthy smell after a rain. I crave the humid and heavy smell of summer. I crave the red, yellow, and orange blooms of nasturtium hanging along the fence. I know it is too early, and I know that I am only torturing myself by longing for these things, but today I found a small speck of hope for an early spring and I will cling to it with every part of my being.

I was out with the dogs, as usual. The last two days have been above 0°C, so the snow was softer and squishier than usual. I could hear drops of melting ice falling from the roof and splashing into puddles beneath the eaves. Toady’s fort walls had shrunk from just about two feet high to two inches. But all this melting isn’t what sparked hope in me. I am not naive enough to think that a warm day in the middle of a long winter means anything more than a heated wind blowing in from the right place. It was the dogs. They were following their outside routine of sniffing everything, eating snow, and rolling in muck. The wind was blowing cold and smelling of snow. A dark sky and no sun. I was in low spirits. The dogs wandered over to the raspberry bushes, which have long been brown and barren. They like to pick old berries off of the branches, and I don’t like them to because they end up with sticks in their fur. But today, no matter what I did, they would not retreat. I stood to the side, too grey of heart to pull them out, when I noticed that they were jamming their muzzles straight down into the snow surrounding the bushes. They would part the snow with their paws until the bare ground was visible, and then inhale deep breaths.

In my head, I imagined them smelling the heartbeat of Spring, slow but steady. Pumping life back into the roots, the earth, the cold desolate winter. The dark dirt moist with water, the grass waking up, the world coming to life beneath our feet. I imagined it smelling like spring. That smell that is almost alive. Dirt and growth and rain and expectation. Sweet and heady and green.

That small moment gave me hope. It gave me heart. It gave me a little taste of spring and all that comes with it. Then again, they could have been smelling the mice that like to burrow down behind the bushes in the winter. Let’s pretend it was spring.

Last year's first nasturtium to bloom.

Last year’s first nasturtium to bloom.


26 thoughts on “Spring

  1. We have been mild in N.B. too and the snow melted away from the front of my house where I put in over 200 bulbs in the Fall. I was a bit worried because in the early 90s we had one January where it got so mild that my bulbs grew about 4″ and I ended up losing them all. But no worries. It’s snowing again today.

    • Lucky! My family in NS has had it pretty mild this year, too. But they are getting a cold snap again now. I hope that your bulbs do ok, I’m sure they look beautiful in the spring and summer.

  2. I had a whiff of spring in Raleigh, and it was followed by temps in the 70s, but it’s back to the 40s today. I have to admit, the mild winters are one of the things I love best about NC. Stay warm and spring is in sight. January is half over, then February only has 28 days and boom, 3 weeks into March, spring arrives.

  3. This is a perfect ‘grass is always greener’ moment! The Northeast of the US has been way warm this fake winter and we are just now getting forecast of snow and I am SUPER EXCITED FOR IT! We may need to trade houses for a week if it doesn’t show up!

  4. Over Christmas it was so warm that the lizards came out of winter hiding – and now we have snow. But the first signs of Spring are here – even though we can expect a few months more of cold weather.

  5. Mmmmm..I think they found a bunny! Thanks for making me smell Spring as “mama” read this to me! I stuffed my head in snow a few days ago and all I found was more snow…I love snowwwwwww!!!!!! Ma says maybe you should fly south for a couple weeks, or drive south and bring the Wheaties! Hang in there…ma says get a real daylight bulb, sit near it, read, get a flowering plant and play c.d.’s with sounds of birds twirping…

  6. May I suggest you listen to ” Applachian Spring” by Aaron Copeland it is absolutely beautiful music. If you are unable to find it let me know I would be happy to burn a CD for you. Oh by the way our Millie had surgery on her left ear lobe for that non-resolving hematoma and is recovering splendidly! One more suggestion maybe some cut flowers from your local supermarket for your kitchen table to brighten your mood might help and deciding what flowers you will plant this spring. Take Care

      • Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts! If your not able to find the CD let me know. Millie goes to tomorrow for post- op follow-up to have stitches removed and she will stay the night to avoid any complications.

  7. As cold as it gets there I bet the winter seems so very long. We don’t have the cold like you do there. Even with the mild winters we have most of the time I still love seeing spring come though with all the newness and beauty that comes with it. What I miss most in the winter is sunshine if we had more sunshine then the winter would be better. I do not like humidity so autumn and spring are my favorite times of the year. I hope spring comes early for you this year. Hugs

    • It is awfully long. Spring and Fall are my favorites too! NS has a lot of humidity, but it is always dry here. It’s a change, but sometimes it’s nice. I’m hoping that we get some warmer weather again soon, it’s back to -30 at night!

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