The Spring Equinox (A Day Late)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 11:08PM
Jen Grow

The first day of spring is hardly ever the first day of spring. Usually the “first day of spring” is symbolic. It comes and goes and we have several more weeks of gray wet weather to slog through before the forsythia blooms. But this year, the first day of spring is a few weeks late. The forsythia bushes, alarming in their bright yellow blossoms, are shouting with their wayward branches that it’s time to wake up. Last week, the peepers at dusk were singing joyful and loud in the boggy pools of the flood plain, but they’ve quieted down again, their mating party is just about over for the season.

I’m happy to report that one by one, the turtles have returned to the turtle log. I pass the turtle log at least once a day on our daily dog walk. Max and Byrdie don’t keep track of it, but I do. The log is partially submerged in a creek next to the trail and the turtles, in warm weather, line up to sun themselves. Last year, at the height of the turtle season, I counted more than thirty turtles lined in a row resting on the log. The other day, Lee and I counted ten of them. A few others rested on the bank of the creek. Some of them are the size of saucers, while the babies are smaller like silver dollar pancakes.

I am thrilled to be experiencing an early spring with warm weather and the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. More time for dog walking. But I’m also confused. Some reptilian part of my brain is still hibernating, reluctant to emerge from the dark den of winter, still waiting tentatively for that last big snow storm we’ve yet to get.

At first I thought the daffodils were a bit anxious in their willingness to bloom. I expected at any moment for winter to sweep through again and freeze them in their tracks. But now the trees are budding, the cherry blossoms showing off their frill, the Bradford pears erupting in snow-colored blossoms. Spring has announced with full force that it is not slowing down with its renovations to the landscape.

Other things are happening too. I’ll be starting a new job in a few weeks, so please cross your fingers and wish me luck. Also, I’m very happy to report that I’m just about finished the final draft of the book I’ve been writing for the last three years, tentatively titled Life in Dog Years. (You can read an excerpt here.) I read a chapter from it at the Greektown Reading series in February and (to my great relief) it was well received. I’ll be reading another piece at the end of March as part of the New Mercury Reading Series, and I’ll be part of an all-woman panel in April to promote the journal Sententia 4: What She Says which includes my short story, “Injured.”  As if that’s not enough, Lee and I have been checking out houses, so, who knows? Maybe a move is in the air, too.

With all this commotion, there’s not doubt spring is here. All I can do is try to keep up, try to pay attention as it happens and not miss out on the great unveiling. New life, in all its glory is happening now!

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