The long, cold winter is about to end. Spring’s official arrival isn’t set for another week.
However, I need to share what I just witnessed on a walk through the neighborhood with my bride.
I witnessed the first signs of spring. They’re showing up in people’s lawns, on the trees that are beginning to bud, if ever so imperceptibly. I’m hearing more lawnmowers roaring. I’m seeing more people out walking — just like my wife and me — with their children in strollers or their puppies on leashes.
This truly is my favorite season of the year.
Other people tell me they love autumn the most. The summer gives way to the cooling breezes, the leaves turn colors and then they fall off the trees. That’s all fine.
The leaves also die. The trees grow dormant. The grass loses its luster and it, too, goes to sleep for the winter.
Me? I am a revival sort of fellow. I like the season where Mama Nature wakes everything up.
We’ve lived on the High Plains of Texas for slightly more than 19 years now and we’ve watched these cycles play out with each passing year. This year — or maybe it’s just my imagination — it seems the Texas Tundra became barren more quickly than in many previous years. I recall around early November driving past McDonald Lake at the corner of John Stiff Memorial Park just north of our home and noticing that the grass around the lake had gone from green to brown virtually overnight.
Then I noticed everyone’s yards had done the same thing.
The cold set in. It didn’t let up. We didn’t set any low-temperature records this year, but it surely seems as though the winter clamped its grip on us early and kept it there for what seemed like forever.
Snowfall? The National Weather Service said we’ve gotten 12 inches or so this winter, down a couple of inches from normal.
It’s been dry. And cold. For a long time.
It is now giving way to that time of renewal. I saw it this afternoon on a lovely walk through the ‘hood. I’m hoping, though, we avoid one of those late-season blue northers.
I am officially ready for spring. Bring it — and some drenching rain too.