Are we there yet? – Guest Post by Felicity Sidnell Reid…

All photographs are courtesy of, and copyrighted to, my daughter Anne Sidnell

It was March 2oth yesterday, the date of the spring equinox for 2017. Officially, it is the first day of spring here, but the weather is still cold; last week we had a snowstorm and only the snowdrops, true to their name, have dared to show their faces.

I recently heard a meteorologist arguing passionately that we should stop calculating the seasons on the basis of where the earth is positioned in relation to the sun, as astronomers do, choosing the solstices and equinoxes to neatly divide the year, and consider only earthly conditions.

Meteorologists base their seasonal calendar on the annual temperature cycle. And of course we do in fact make our minds up about whether and when spring has arrived in our own corner of the world depending on the weather.

Some bloggers I follow have been heralding spring for a month now, which reminds me of how, in childhood, my siblings and I would run out in the garden on St David’s Day, March 1st, to look for his flower, the daffodil.

We often found them too.

So here’s a poem about the green lushness of an English spring, when I used to visit my parents.

At My Mother’s House
In between visiting
and coming home,
light slices planes
into peaceful patterns.
Night sinks silent, as morning
hums. A milkman’s cart
rises with the day.
Footsteps, clinking glass,
damp bushes rustle, snap.
A quiet green smell slips
in through open windows.
In a mossy corner, next the step
bottles hold their ground,
foil tops glistening.
A sudden clatter—
beating wings—sparrows,
robins, blue-tits drum
a grand advance. Foil
tears and cream’s laid bare.
A handful of crumbs fans
from an opened door.
Birds regroup, touch down;
crumbs less contentious
than cream, can’t be ignored.

And as a contrast, this is one about that shifty season, here in Ontario.

Will spring ever come?

In February,
I leant on the rail
fine gravelled with ice
beads, fruit of hard frost,
while below dog and cat
danced their own patterns
into a white lawn.

The lost glories of
yesterday, floating
idly, had become
frozen ghosts.
Pierced by icy spears,
they bled, withered
grey and flimsy,
giving up.

Then blue jays burned
sapphire against frosty
trees, their cries scraping
cold ears.

But now, as if winter
had finally left,
surrendering to spring,
I hear the summer sound
Of mourning doves
As they grieve yet
Another cold dawn.

Oh well, maybe in April!

Felicity Sidnell Reid

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