I’m a cheater, I confess.
Usually in March, I begin cheating by wearing bright colors. Since a good look around reveals a lot of brown and grey, I wear bright colors to get an advance on the Spring. My favorite colors are pinks, lime greens, and even some white shirts here and there.
But it is now April. The bulbs that are popping out of the ground reveal only thimbles-full of green, hardly the blues, pinks, yellows, purples and lavenders of early Spring. This leaves the ground a matted collage of dry brown dirt and shredded leaves of varying shades of brown, dried grass that looks more like wheat after the harvest, pale moss from the saturation of melting snow, a mix of snow and filth from our emissions. The sky may be blue, in places, but it may also be cloudy, casting a muted hue on everything, like it is today.
On some days I cheat by wearing my new sandals. I purchase the sandals last month, when we still had a foot of snow on the ground, as another way of cheating. I admit I wear socks because it’s still below freezing on some days, but the sandals are definitely a cheat sheet of sorts. My current sandals are pink, so I’m doubly cheating.
This year I am cheating a lot. We began cheating early, in the winter, in December, when we
hung pictures of the brightly colored birds of La Albufera, the agricultural area outside
Valencia, Spain, on our trees. I used to live in that area, and was in La Albufera every day to go to work.
It has officially been spring for three weeks but our ground is still saturated with islands of snow. The piles on the north sides of our edifices have remained the longest.
Today I went out for a big cheat.
I’m not sure who was looking, if anybody, but I took my tools of the trade, a saw and clippers, and began clipping the dried leaves from the bases of the sea grass. The lawn guys haven’t come around yet because of the quantities of snow everywhere, and it would be nice if they com ’round before the dried leaves of sea grass blow and disperse in all directions, including onto our neighbors’ snow-covered lawns.
Usually at this time of year we hear the big bands – like roaming mariachi bands, but instead, they’re lawn guys with their gas-powered blowers, blowing the leaves around to haul them away. It’s been silent so far. NO complaints about this from me. But it’s a sign that things are different.
I sawed and chopped to reshape a few trees, and made piles of the unwanted wood. Just about then the NStar – which has now changed its name to EverSource – guys, our electric company, drove up to trim tree branches from the power lines that run along our side of the road. They had a pile of tree limbs laying on the road, and were feeding the limbs into the chopper. Perfect. I walked up to the guy standing over the pile, with my arms full of branches, and asked, “Can I add these to your pile?” I think he was a little started to see anybody gardening today, but we smiled at each other and agreed, “Perfect timing.”
He’s probably cheating, too! And it’s my first definitive sign of spring.