Off With His Head!


Our snowman, who has so kindly smiled in greeting every dark and cold night, lost his hat, then his right arm, then his mouth, then his nose and finally his head. And though I will miss his cheery smile, his departure is not truly bitter for me. As a matter of fact, I feel much like the Queen of Hearts, practically rejoicing with the thought of “Off with his head!”

As I ran my errands this Sunday, I traded in my frozen tundra parka and lined gloves for a sweat shirt, no hat hair, and exposed digits. I even enjoyed my walk from the parking lot to the grocery store front. Birds were singing. Snow was melting and rushing down the side of the building. Inside the store I loaded up on fresh produce: strawberries, bananas, golden delicious apples, two varieties of lettuce, and even the new hybrid apple-pears.

Lugging the full bags from the car to the house was even a pleasant task this week. Car washes are busy with folks clamoring to remove the salt spray from their cars. Stores are displaying the most delightful Easter dresses for little girls. Flowers, real and fabric, are showing up everywhere.

Yes, spring has sprung.

True, it is mid-February, and we live in Wisconsin. So there will be a few more soul-crushing snows before winter has its last word. But spring is out of the box, and there will be no putting it back into the deep freeze, at least not until next December.

Even as a knit a hat for a friend, I find myself wanting to work with lighter yarns on more spring-like projects. Wool resting in my lap seems too heavy for such a fine day. And, I know that I shall soon be suffering from that ailment called “spring fever” that afflicts students around the world. It afflicts adults too, if we are honest. My ability to concentrate at work will decline to nothing, and soon I will be walking around the building after completing a paragraph on a writing project or checking the validation of single web page.

As I type this article, my family watches Snow White on television. Right now Snow White is preparing gooseberry pies for the seven dwarfs, birds are chirping and helping her put the finishing touches on the crusts. Oh to be able to fling open the window and set a fresh blueberry pie on the window sill. Soon enough.

But for now I must be content with seeing the actual edges of the roads revealed by the retreating snow as I drive and the slow disintegration my friend the snowman as the sun works its magic. I am cheered by a sunlight drive to work in the early morning and a commute home in the evening lit by a southern twilight. Yes, there will be more snow and a few more, cold, coat-requiring days, but they are likely to be one-offs, quickly chased into the background by the oncoming spring.

Ah, Happy Spring.

© 2011 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

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