When I lived in Virginia, Spring was special and much desired after a long, bitterly frigid Winter. When the warmer temperatures crept into our daily lives like the expected encounters with old friends who we haven’t seen in a while, since they moved away to Florida or California or Arizona where sunny weather abounds all year long, we all welcomed them with open arms. I imagined peeling off my thick wool sweaters and shoving them back into the bottom dresser drawer, where they’d stay hidden for eight months or more. My dried-up fingers, crackling and splitting open into long red sores at the knuckles, would drink up the warm, humid moisture, which Spring delivered to our neck of the woods. Soon, sweet breezes would float through the budding trees and rustle the world alive again. Unlike that awful, seething wind from Winter, which whipped through the air, slapping and stinging everything in its path.
On the drive to school each morning, I peered at the long, ashy limbs of naked trees and searched for the first signs of green buds to dot their branches. Stumps of crocuses, tulips, irises, and daffodils poked through the red clay soil. Cherry blossoms stretched their pink and white faces into the warming sun, settling into motion my pollen allergies, which raged as the bees and flowers alike began to awaken. I didn’t care, not so long as the temperatures climbed from 30 or 40 to 65 and 70 degrees.
Spring was fresh. Renewing. Cleansing. We would open the windows of our house and let the fresh air push out the musty winter. The world would seem anew, happy to be alive and breathing in the fragrant aromas of flowering roses and sugary honeysuckle.
Living in California, I have discovered a different Spring. Here, the season is shy, often going unnoticed between the transition from Winter to Summer. Spring doesn’t bed for attention, as it does in Virginia or the Northeast. Instead, it creeps through late March and April, barely making a peep, unless it’s preceded by three months of wintry rains, which only happens every few years.
Spring is dry. The winter flowers continue to bloom until the desert summer evokes its own blooms and decorations. Cool winds may float through the city on a warm, sunny day, but fresh, spring rains are rare. And there is something sad about that, something amiss…as if Southern California isn’t given the opportunity to shower and rinse off the darker winter months like so much of the world that I once knew.
– Written by Miss A on April 10, 2012