A few days ago, I celebrated the first day of spring by running the Watauga gorge in only a splash top, basking in the sun-filled eddies. My Glacier gloves and drysuit are locked away in the gear closet along with long underwear and snow boots. My long, long winter of americanos melted into a spring of iced lattes, my own seasonal leap. I ran through downtown Boone wearing shorts, exposing white legs, feeling the sun on my shoulders, everyone was smiling, I felt like every dream I ever had could come true, I felt like every dream I ever had WAS coming true. It was like living in Woody Allen's musical 'Everyone says I love you.' My cooped up, cabin fevered, snow-weary dog and I were happy. The problems in my life- all results of being inside for too long- were dissolving alongside the last bits of snow.
It was nice, those four days. But now the snow is back, the driving snow, hard bits of it pelting the windshield. The little pearls of green on the trees are yanking back into their underworld. It's freezing cold- had I forgotten what cold was like, in those few days of false spring? It feels terrible. It makes my bones ache. I'm back to my old tricks- tea from a bright kettle, run another bath, drive on slippery roads out to a contra dance in the next town over just to get out of the house and move around. But each day feels the same, a regression, as if we are following the calendar backward and soon it will be January, then December, then before we know it, a blustery autumn. I head to the same corner of the same bookstore, cream swirls into espresso, computer screen glowing blue, hands skitter uninterested on the keyboard. Restless. Staring at outside at the telephone wires slicing across the stone-grey sky. Remembering what it was like to wake up, just a few days ago, to the sweet, alien sounds of birds.