I can never remember when each season is officially supposed to start, but am happy to report that after several false starts Spring seems to have arrived (at least in my neck of the woods)
The thing I hate most about winter (and there’s a lot to dislike, I often find) is the degree to which I find myself getting more and more insulated/isolated from the world around me. More and more layers of clothing, windows closed most of the time, drive more and walk less. Sometimes it’s lovely, I admit, snowy walks in the woods and crackling bonfires and all that, but most of the time it’s dark and cold, rains a lot and I find myself becoming more and more slothfully ursine and inclined towards hibernation.
So the gradual un-peeling of layers that takes place around this time every year is a process to be relished. Small sign-posts along the way assume un-anticipated significance.
Like sounds – this is the first weekend it’s been warm enough to leave the living room window open all day.
I often have the radio on for hours at a stretch, and living just off a busy main road I’m used to a constant background grumble of traffic, so it’s taken me a while to notice… an almost constant cascade of bird-song, flowing behind and between all the human rumpus.
I heard the first throaty coo of a wood pigeon (or is it a collared dove – I can never remember) this morning, on my way down the road to get the sunday paper.
It’s almost dark now, so it’s quietened down a bit, but all day I’ve been enjoying this lovely, free, sound-track, and feeling a bit more connected to the world around me.
The window in my living room is an old sash, and (despite the attentions of a serious man with a crow-bar and other carpentry tools last year) I can’t open it all that far.
Just far enough to stick my head out (like a dog in a car) and sniff the breeze, listen to the night…the first few stars are justs starting to twinkle on a field of dusky blue – the exact same shade that I always used to love amongst the powder paints at school, and always wanted to eat – and there’s a surprising amount of traffic for a sunday night (where on earth are they all going?)
Filter all that out, though, and it sound like Spring, and I’m grateful.