Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Comes to New Hampshire

It is 55 degrees Fahrenheit along the Seacoast today, between Hampton and Portsmouth. Dogs are chasing balls in to the surf.  Snow on the south side of the street has melted away from the lawns, and snow on the north side is getting thinner. It feels very warm to people who have got through another New Hampshire winter. People are out in T shirts and shorts.  Sprouts are pushing up through garden peat moss and dogs are nose to the ground, as the heat from the soil brings up  smells to the surface.

We may yet get another snowfall, but even the old New Hampshire natives say we have turned the corner.  We all feel as though we have made it past exam week and those of us walking around upright have passed some pretty tough courses. We feel we have earned this Spring.

It's not that people in the South do not welcome Spring, but they do not have the same sense of accomplishment we feel up here, just for making it through another winter.  Those of us of a certain age know we may not have many more winters or spring times to enjoy.  Each new turn of season somehow seems more precious now.  

Dry roots stirring in spring rain, as Eliot said.

We look at the children and teen agers kicking up their heels, new colts testing their muscles and sinews,  and we are envious.  Testosterone is rising with the sap. Renewal and new life is coming to a white and gray country, and green up here is twice as bright and savored twice as much for the contrast.

There are lovely places all over the country this time of year. True, it's not all joy--manatees are dying in Fort Meyers with a red tide.  But Washington, DC has azaleas budding and cherry blossoms coming. North Carolina has grass and magnolias. But up here in the frozen north land we have Spring stretching its arms after a long winter sleep and there's no place Mad Dog would rather be.

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