Monday, 7 May 2012

Safe to say "spring"

Last Monday morning, I pulled back the living room curtains to expose sun so bright my eyes dove downward. And what a sight they beheld: it may have taken two days of raking, another snowfall, and a few rain showers, but it was finally there - technicolour green, on my own front lawn. The emerald trend continued right down my street, as our preschool-bound jaunt soon revealed. My daughter and I strolled along with open jackets, and noted the new additions to the growing cohort of opening buds on bushes along the way. From here below, the trees still seemed bare, but the odd green haze proved that spring was making itself known in the canopy, whether I could see it or no.

Upon dropping the girlie at school, the voice from my stroller protested "no home!". With a breeze that coolly caressed without biting, I had no worries for his bare head and hands un-mittened, so I gave in to my toddler's impulse. We took the long way home, looping several blocks south before rejoining our normal northbound route. We were only a few meters closer to the downtown core, yet, here the neighbourhood's roots showed through more plainly. The gables and verandas so favoured by turn-of-the-century pioneers still stand, and while some are flanked by more modern oddities, they hold firmly to a nostalgic majority.

We switched sidewalks for the way home to where the pavement still remembers the old street names. I crossed the old Muskoka Avenue, wondering if it spoke of a long-gone city-planner longing for home. I check the next few cross-streets; Yukon, Okanogan, Pembina...maybe he was wishing to be anywhere but here? It's strange to think that such a central spot was once the edge of civilization, but so it was, and my own neck of the woods was a swamp - home only to bootlegger stills in the buffer zone between dry Edmonton to the south and wet St. Albert up the trail.

This week, the weather wandered like this blog post, dishing out sunburns and rain squalls, drizzles and downpours, often with less than an hour between. It brings to mind that old Connie Kaldor song:
Spring in the prairies
Comes like surprise
One minute there's snow on the ground
The next there's sun in your eyes
And the surprises just keep on coming, but trees keep quickening, so I think it's finally safe to say "spring". Or rather, if I don't dare now, I may miss it entirely.