The clocks have sprung ahead, and it would be light in the early evening if it weren't for the grayness of the rain. Spring -- tantalizing, seductive -- showed its face last week, but only for a few days. A few gloriously, unseasonably hot days, wonderful days of T-shirts and shorts that hadn't been worn since the Labor Day barbecue. Days spent sweeping out the back porch and cleaning out the garage and folding up the comforters, which seemed suddenly so extraordinarily heavy, only to find 48 hours later that the thin sheets we had flung across the bed were bare and hardly comforting in the cold nighttime drizzle.
This is what spring is, really, though every year we are sure it will be different. Every year it conspires to raise our hopes and then --es them just as quickly. Yet every year we find ourselves taken in, again, by the smell of the first-cut grass and the soft sounds of the birds in the early, sunny mornings. And every year we do it again -- take the screens and the storm windows off and pack the winter coats in the basement -- only to feel the cold whip through the cracks and into our bones again -- Mother Nature's annual lesson in patience and humility.