The seasons feel muddled right now. Part of that is that I live in Georgia, where I joke to the chagrin of my sports teammates, “you don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes.” But to be honest, it’s more than that. I am a track runner, and we call ourselves spring athletes. But it is February, and this afternoon was absolutely frigid. There have been days when the sun shines brightly and I start thinking about summer and wearing short sleeves, but within twenty-four hours, I revert to my uniform of boots and sweaters.
It’s a juxtaposition of my mood. To me, winter is the time when I can curl up with tea and a cookie and a book. It is the time when nothing can get to me because I am hidden behind the clear glass of a window, watching the cold rain hit the ground. It is the time when I am impenetrable. But spring is the opposite. I am coming alive again, as I hit the track running. I jump into the air, swinging out above a foam pit. My feet reach for the woodsy trails once more, my shoulders warm from the emerging sun.
Spring is the first hope of summer. It is when the seeds are planted in gardens, to be left alone all summer, to grow and thrive and flower on their own, and then to bear the fruit in the autumn. The spring feels so close some days, but so far away others. Today was winter, but yesterday was spring. How do I keep it all straight? Is there a calendar I’m supposed to follow?
Or is February the season of conglomerated muddles, when I can do nothing to organize it all? Is it simply the season of just-past-winter and not-quite-spring, despite the fact that it is characterized with pink snowflakes? Or is it the first chance to shine before spring comes along? A dry run of sorts. But it isn’t very dry, for the season of in-between never lost winter’s gray rain.