Memorial Day is often referred to as “the unofficial first day of summer.” Memorial Day was Monday and I suppose there is a sense of a changing of the guard, seasonally-speaking, but the actual first day of summer isn’t until June 20th. Seeing as it’s only the first of the month, we are very much still in spring. Officially.
I’m in no rush: Spring is my favorite season. The world gets washed in spring and after winter, we sorely need it. The smell of wet leaves, soaked garden beds, damp bark — that loamy, vegetal smell makes my heart break. I welcome the breaking. All over the city, the flowers are tender explosions that line the slicked streets and I don’t care that my sandals squish as I walk along. I’m alive.
On the way to the airport at 5 a.m. last weekend, riding the El, you cannot believe the sky I saw. A storm was coming in from the west making the sky a deep sapphire blue, almost purple around the edges. But the sun was coming up over the lake behind us and suddenly, all the metal storage warehouse buildings along the Orange line route were bathed in gold, dripping with the gold light of that early spring sun. The dark heaven behind them threw each bright square into even sharper relief. It took my breath away. Not even Monet could’ve captured what I saw through my train window. Only spring can deliver that kind of beauty in the first place.
Spring has a good reputation. It’s been known to inspire all kinds of things. Lovers. Poetry. Music. Hope.
If you need any of those things, if you need to rely on any of Spring’s gifts — pea shoots, caterpillars, rhubarb pie, breezes singing through your bedroom window, peonies — you can. Spring told me.