Boy, it has been a long, long, bitter winter. Of course it will not last forever, and there are many wonderful signs that spring is coming.
We know all of the visual signs of spring. And even the sweet smells of rebirth. But have you ever thought of the sounds of spring? I believe in many ways the sounds are the first real changes of the season. As I sit in my still closed house, wishing for just a few moments outside without being bundled up like an Eskimo, I am keenly aware that the everyday sounds are slowly, subtly changing.
The roar of snowmobiles has been replaced with a revving engine on the motorcycles. The neighbor kids are no longer slowly trudging through snow to their knees, but are now clicking by on swift bike tires.
The crunch of car tires on the snow is being replaced by a soft slush as the warm pavement melts the ice barrier. You can hear the slow drip of the last remaining snow and ice on the roof as it descends to the ground to join the ever growing puddle of water. The people walking by are taking a bit longer instead of rushing against the bitter, stinging cold, there is a pause now and then to look, converse and just enjoy the out of doors. The sound of muffled winter clothing as you meet someone on the street is being replaced by the swoosh of light weight nylon wind breakers and spring jackets.
The tree branches are gently creaking as the last of the frozen interior surrenders to the warm sunshine and they can stretch once again towards the sky and blossom.
Cardinals and woodpeckers engage in territorial banter with the returning robins and sparrows. Each trying to stake out the perfect location to build a nest.
And as I bravely crack my window open I think I may even be able to hear the gentle push of the hearty tulip bulbs and tart rhubarb as it bravely inches its way through the still frozen earth.
Yes, the sounds of spring are here. Soon we can enjoy the smells, sights, and feel of the new season. But, for now, stop and listen.