I always start getting hopeful this time of year. I blame it on the early springs of the balmy Northwest (my dad called to tell me he had just seen a tree in bloom), and on my innate optimism. Sometimes, this time of year, there are balmy days, where you can walk outside without a coat and not turn into a personcicle. Assuming you had less of it than 3 feet, the snow melts, and you can see ground. The days are noticeably longer. They start pulling out Puxstawny Phil, and DC boasts of it’s cherry blossoms. I notice the buds on the trees. Are they larger than yesterday? Redder? When they stand out against a blue sky, you can’t help but hope. They shed their snow and show their colors, and you thing surely, surely spring is coming soon.

About this time last year, I even planted seeds in my garden, in a particularly warm and optimistic patch.

Those of you from New England are laughing. I can hear it.

THIS is the bitter time of winter. In January, you know. You know that the weather is a fluke, and that spring is not here. You know that you need to buckle down to bear the winter as it is. But now, my internal clock tells me we must be nearly done. That daffodils and crocuses await. That the trillians are poking up in their dark lairs.

And my internal clock is dead wrong.

My friends, there are at least two more months of this. The snow will linger, melt, and fall again. The winds will shake the house with their bitterness. The red sugary promise of the tree buds will remain promise for a good time yet. Every week, I will think it is nearly spring. And every week it will not be.

Until that one week, when finally, it is.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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