After a cold spell, sunshine spills across the landscape opening blossom, bud, and front door. I can hear the sound of woodworking. Someone's doing home improvement. The space heater is off for the first time in weeks and I'm actually wearing a t-shirt instead of my uniform of sweater, tights, and knee-high socks.
I'm pulled always between staying inside on my off day, getting housework done, and going out for a walk. The parks will be crowded and the Japanese Magnolias will be in full bloom. These pink blossomed beauties are a double-edged sword: their coming always means another blast of winter can't be far behind. But enjoy them we shall until said blast comes.
Hello, February! You fickle month of temptation. You shower us with early flowers and then, suddenly, knock the wind out from us with cold, Arctic breath. Still, we shed coats and gloves and flock to parks and seaside, drinking in the warmth. You are like coffee for the soul. The warmth trickles down our throats and we bask in the thaw. Then the caffeine hits and we're wired, nervous, unable to sleep.
Still, I love the unexpected personality of Southern winters. It's as if they don't quite know what to do with themselves after Christmas. A week of warm weather is followed by three days of rain is followed by freezing temperatures. We cover up the plants and bring the delicate ones inside. The next morning we put them back out and they unfurl their flowers as if the frost never happened. But I'm wise to these ways. A lifetime of watching the trees bloom early has taught me this: keep the sweater on the end of the bed. After the array of color, winter will be back. Refueled and ready.
Looks like I shouldn't put away those knee-high socks after all.