March 31, 2005

SUDDENLY, daffodils. Overnight, willows soft and greening. All at once, a contagion of forsythia.

Talk about ready! The buds and flowers, it seems, were as fed up with March as we were, and just itching to get going. Monday's heavy rain and Tuesday's warming set the season loose, at last.

When spring arrives in a rush it's a shock, though a pleasant one. Sure, the crocuses have been trying for weeks now to get our attention, but none too successfully. A hateful chill settled in before the equinox and wouldn't let go. The sky at times was distressingly reminiscent of November. Dark and dreary, the branches bare, our world was bound up in grays and browns - uninviting, and uninspiring.

And now a giddy flood is bursting its banks - a flood of coquetry and aromas and let's-get-on-with-it. Yes, today is likely to be cooler than yesterday, and sure, there could even be another flurry or two before the season is out, but everyone from the dogcatcher to the dogwood knows there's no turning back now. Color is all the rage. Color, and that earth-smell that tells us there's a whole lot of renewal about to get going.

Cheer slaps us in the face. Wow. The world is upended, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

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