My wife and I took a walk last night after work as the sun glinted through the tall pines and oaks and our shadows stretched to half a block. The temperature was unseasonably warm, rising into the 70s in the afternoon, so we took advantage of our slender window of opportunity and walked two miles or so, briskly moving as we talked.
Tonight the temperature will fall into the 20s, and there is talk of "frozen precipitation," just days after we dug out from the second icing in two weeks. Ominously, this morning's newspaper carried an article about tornado drills in schools, a reminder that spring's sudden shifts in temperature can stir up violent storms.
As North Carolina natives, we know the winter's cold can linger well into April. Many an Easter sunrise service has found us bundled against the frigid temperatures while all the stores are lively with bunnies, chicks, eggs and swimsuits, all in bright spring colors.
Today, the forecasters tell us, March winds will blow and the temperature will fall. Tonight, we'll rely again on a 29-year-old furnace to keep warmth in our home. This weekend, it will be too cold for the outdoor maintenance that I've put off for four months.
But the daffodil and crocus shoots bravely spawn new buds, confident that spring will come, warmth will blanket the earth and life, so recently frozen stiff, will flourish once again.