Without a doubt, my favorite season is spring. After a cold and often dank winter, spring begins to tease in February by giving us a significant warming spell. When we kept a garden, this was the time to get early peas in the ground, so that we could be enjoying them by early summer. It was a season of hope.
Here in Virginia, the weather between Feb. 1 and May 1 can vary as wildly as a two-year-old choosing his clothes for the day. February, March, and April have a hard time deciding what weather to deliver. Sometimes it is 70 degree days; other times we are treated to 20 degree nights with snow — mountains of it, occasionally. In fact, some of our biggest snows have arrived on the heels of a spring-like day.
Even when spring does finally come, it still comes with a kind of contradiction. The forsythia blooms yellow and then my lovely cherry tree presents blossoms that linger for up to a week unless winds and rains intervene to blow them away. In short order, the redbuds begin to pink. Tiny little finches turn bright yellow.
But with the blossoming comes the pollen. For a month now, I’ve been getting alerts on my phone for “high pollen.” I know, Weatherbug, I know — because my nose itches and the bench on my front porch changes from shiny black to a dull fuzzy grey.
I want so much to open the windows and let fresh spring air roll in to displace the cooped-up winter, but, alas, I can’t without risking that waves of pollen-laden wind will coat the interior of my house as it coats the exterior.
So, I wait for the right moment. That comes with rain that washes the air. Only then do I dare open the windows and let in the spring, thwarting the contradiction of spring and rejoicing that spring has finally arrived to stay.