Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring at last!

I have recently returned from a trip to the Southland, a much needed break from the end-of-winter dregs in Southeast Michigan. Mid-March is in my opinion the best time to go south for a number of reasons. First, Florida is pretty much past its cold spells, and you will rarely get those 60 degree days they sometimes see in February--not that 60 is bad when you're used to 20. The birds are migrating north so you have a better chance of seeing a roseate spoonbill or a whooping crane (as we did in the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia). But the best reason for me is that by the time you get home, spring is happening.
The drive back north can be depressing as you travel from green to brown, warm to, well, not so warm. But as I stepped out of our old RV and onto our driveway the first thing I saw was a robin running across the front yard, the first I'd seen here all year. The next thing I noticed were the chorus frogs in the little pond across the road singing away. And when I looked around I saw that the pile of snow left by our neighbor's plow had melted. Ahhhh....
I enjoy going to Florida, I love the ocean, the azaleas in bloom, getting to see dolphins and manatees and eating really fresh seafood, but I have absolutely no desire to live there. I love the seasons too much, love being able to walk out my door on any given day and notice something different--buds on the lilacs, territorial calls of the cardinals, the nighthawk peenting in the marsh across our road. Especially in the spring, if you are paying attention, each day will bring a new sound or sight or smell. So try to take a moment every day, perhaps in the morning when you're leaving for work, or in the evening after dinner, and go outside and listen, look around you, breathe deeply, and feel the world waking up to another year of possibilities.