I felt it in the air last night as I walked out to do chores. It was in the lingering warmth of south facing walls, in the softness of the snow and the slickness of the ice; it was in the gentle breeze sending whispers through the lofty pines and in the rich smell of earth where the snow had melted away.
The spring thaw is coming. Winter is losing its grip.
Yesterday was warmer than it has been, with a high of nearly 30, but it's not just the weather patterns of daily highs and lows. The sun is rising higher in the sky, the light is more warming and intense, light streaks the eastern sky before I wake up and the last indigo of twilight lingers long past dinner.
All of these subtle changes are etched in my sensory memory, but it is the smell that I react to the most. Damp earth and white pine needles, minerals and decomposing leaves, the way the pine wood siding smells when the noonday sun hits it. It is the smell of life, turning, cycling, returning. It fills me with new life and new hope. It makes me want to run, to fill my lungs with this new life until they are burning inside, then collapse on a south facing hillside with my face to the sun, my eyes closed, bathing in the warmth that is so welcome because of its long absence.
Last night I walked out to the compost pile just after sunset, and I listened to the silence of the lavender sky, felt the chill on the blue snow. My mind tells me snow is white, but at that moment I trusted my eyes and saw pale aster blue reflecting a deeper blue in the air. I stood looking at all the life around me, the expectation, the anticipation. Spring is coming, as it will.