4.02.2005

Happy Spring!

What color is Spring in your head?

Is it green, for the freshness of buds and shoots, for tulip stems and minuscule beads in Gerbera daisies and the lapping edge of water melting in iced-over ponds and streams? Is it the pink of pale cold mornings that warm into softness when the sun comes up at last? Is it the yellow of the sun growing hotter as each day unfolds? Or is it the blue of the sky welcomed back with disbelief? It could be the blue, though the green of which I speak is the one known as Spring green, so maybe I'm talking through my hat, as usual.

Once, Jim Budinetz asked me what I missed about Boston, and, upon reflection, it boiled down to four days.

The first day is that day when the air is first soft, back "home." Anyone who's lived on the Eastern seaboard or anywhere in New England or New York can identify this day: it may or may not be after March 21, but it's that day when the damp cold bonechill of winter gives way one morning to a warmth in the air, which might not actually be warm, but has that squishy gentle feeling to it, like you could take off your coat and be perfectly comfy in your sweater and scarf. It becomes easy to breathe again, that day, and your hair feels good. Your face feels good. You might skip, because your heart is lighter, even if you don't know why.

Second day is in July or August when the humidity and oppressive heat have been sitting on the whole city for about 10 days straight, and you're ready to climb out of your skin from the nasty sticky gumminess of your own body. Then, the sky goes darker and darker at midday, to nearly black.... A cool breeze wafts in, hinting at the promise of relief, and at about 2:30, the skies just split open, releasing more water than you think it's possible for clouds to hold, and there are just sheets and sheets and sheets of rain and booming thunder and crackling lightning just out of arms' reach, and it lasts for about 7 hours and just as you're ready for bed, it dies down and moves off and you can go blissfully to sleep with the windows open, thanking G-d for thunderstorms.

Third day is that October day, near Hallowe'en or the Head of the Charles, when the softness in the air vanishes, and crispness takes its place. It's the first day your nose freezes a little if you breathe in too deeply, without expecting it. Your sweater has to be supplemented with a hat and gloves and a wrap or scarf, but you cheat winter for just another few days because it's not quiiiiiite cold, and doesn't warrant a coat. The sky is a stunningly vibrant almost-painful blue, and the leaves are in full flame and gorgeous, and it has its counterpart on the West Coast, perhaps in December, though. And without the exquisite foliage....

December is usually when the fourth day happens: the first real snowfall. The air has been damp and cold and asthma-inducing for a couple of weeks, but nothing's happened, and then you might be on your way home from the T stop and realize it's snowing.... And it's sticking! And you stop in the middle of the sidewalk and just listen to the almost-indistinguishable shoosh-shooshing of the snow falling and blanketing the darkening city and muffling traffic sounds and all the hurly burly of urban life. And after you've walked through it, and made your way through your evening at home, you look out the window at bare trees now frosted with sugary ice, and the world just gleams and seems so cozy, it's amazing.

Living in California is fine, although I don't like Orange County much and would rather live in a city on the East coast if I could live anywhere.... (Well, ok, if I could live anywhere, it might be London, but it would have to be with a heretofore-undiscovered trust fund because it is damned spendy there. Makes NY look cheap by comparison!) The funny thing for me about CA is that I never imagined I'd still be here: I thought I'd stick around, go to law school, then move back to Boston or NYC. Meeting Bryan, living with him, marrying him, kind of changed that plan. I guess we'll see if the West coast is forever; it kind of depends on whether I do go to law school, whether Bryan's willing for me to take the NY bar rather than the CA bar (hell, I'd do both, just for the flexibility), etc etc etc. These are just airy fairy gossamer dreams, really, but I like to think about the what-ifs of life, sometimes.

What are your favorite days of the year?

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