I remember you, Spring. Your clever blades of grass and limey shades of leaves. How once, after a long winter, I fell to my knees in wet snow, book bag flung to the tree trunks, and bent to kiss the petals of that year’s first crocus.
Is it in color you will appear first? Or sound, or smell? Back home, the cardinals return in flashes of red against the white mountainsides, and by the time the snow recedes, they sing as though they own the mountain. Even the female juncos grow brave, tan overcoats a clever disguise against the mildewed duff.
When the forest completely thaws, a great welling of scent unfurls. Pungent muck, deep compost, the burrowing fungus and saturated sticks—all of it exhaling steamy breaths into the sunlight as though this is the only kind of living there is, as though this is the purest moment of possibility, as though this may never happen quite so perfectly again.