Spring in February

It has become something of a joke: every morning when we open the curtains, we sigh, “another beautiful day.” Every morning the line in the garden where the snow meets the yellow, winter-stained grass has retreated slightly; before long, we will have a lawn.

Yesterday, Ben and I spent the morning skiing with Jacob and Lex, then in the afternoon we ventured to a local crag for our first outdoor rock climb of the year. I suppose this would normally have taken place in late March, but this year, with this bizarrely early spring, the rock was humming with climbers in shorts and t-shirts.

As we unloaded our ropes and gear in the car park, a wiry, elderly man approached on a road bike. After exchanging pleasantries about the weather he told us that he had seen a chamois on the crag the day before. What a wonderful change this makes from the Mile End climbing wall! The crag sits just beside the road, and all afternoon, we saw runners and cyclists shooting past. The air smelt warm and fragrant, and I thought, as I always do at this turn of the seasons, of the walk up Gloucester Avenue home from school, when I would catch the scent of blossom and realise that it was time to start pouring over Greek island holiday catalogues and dreaming of the summer.

This afternoon, we are sitting at home working; the only sound I can hear is the gentle snoring of the cats, curled up in the brightest spots of sunshine they can find on the sofa and a dining chair respectively, their little whiskers glowing in the bright light. In a minute, I’ll get up and make dough for pizza tonight. Later, Jacob and Lex will come home with ever more bronzed faces and tales of their day’s adventures. For now, I will simply appreciate.

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