The last year, my 61st, bolted past. So did my St. Patrick’s Day birthday. Two classes, a book deadline, a mandatory school function left a late-night Jameson’s and a chocolate brownie sundae as the only reminders that another year had, indeed, been tallied.
And then Thursday, things went from too busy to bruised. Kathy tried to print out boarding passes for a planned quick weekend visit to our daughter Betsy in Baltimore only to discover I had booked the flight backwards, Baltimore to Boston, instead of Boston to Baltimore, an error too costly to repair. It’s been that kind of winter; too many balls flying around to keep every one from crashing to the ground.
Instead of moping, we threw a bag in the trunk and escaped an hour Northeast to the craggy coastline of Cape Ann. The usual rules applied for our mini-getaways — no computer, no phone, no news. (In this case, no planes either.)
We left the weather in others’ hands — on this day, I suspect, divine ones. You know the feel of Spring: When time slows, the Sun embraces, soft air caresses and the songs of birds carry symphonically on the breeze.
In the Northeast, a few of these days usually arrive by mid-May. Occasionally we’ll manage a one or two in April. But not now. Not on March 20, the gateway to Spring’s official arrival. Usually in these parts, it’s a cruel date, one that mocks us with more chilling winds and rain, if not a final blast of snow.
Until today. Nature smiled, and we all turned to putty. Senior citizens sunbathed shirtless on the cliffs overlooking Rockport’s cove. Kids rode bikes and big kids drove convertibles. Gardeners planted pansies with abandon, much too early to skirt frosts yet to come. But today it didn’t matter. Spring’s paintbrush, crocuses and daffodils, needed company.
Forget basketball. This was March at its very maddest. So what if , on Monday, the mercury will fall, the rains return. I’ve stored enough vitamin D for another month, and a memory the ever-swifter snapshot of each passing year can’t strip away.