Awake, Thou Wintry Earth

Referring to the unpredictability of spring weather, Germans have an expression declaring that April does what it wants. April, then, must have arrived early this year since the last two or three weeks have been characterized by the oddest mix of sleet, snow, hail, and (of course) rain that I’ve ever experienced, mainly because every element can occur within the course of a day and indeed within just a few hours—sometimes several times over. The most insidious part of all is that at any given moment the sun might shine brilliantly just long enough to warm barely the cold stone of one’s heart before fading behind the eroding forces of wind-driven hail. This, after the long slog of dark winter, is almost too much to bear. The sunny weather and mild temperatures of the last day or two have thus given me an abundant joy that I am hard-pressed to express adequately. Never before have I felt such an immediate change in disposition in response to a change in the weather, nor have I seen such a dramatic change in my environment. Tour buses have suddenly begun puttering around the city, rowing teams have appeared gliding on the lakes, previously inaudible birds chirp like they were in a Disney movie, scrimmages are played on the local athletic fields that were bare the week before, multitudes of new joggers work their way around the Fauler Lake (ironic?), and the streets are lined both with the natural blossoms of trees and flowers and the artificial blossoms of street umbrellas outside restaurants and cafés—the smells emanating from both of which are delightful.

And today the last two buttons of my winter coat popped off, one right after the other. Given that my sewing skills are remedial at best, what April must want this year is for continued warmth and sunshine.