The end of winter is like waking up from a long, wearying, troublesome dream. Suddenly we have neighbors again, chatting over the fence; sheets dance on the clothesline. Car windows are open and people notice each other again, after a long season of being hunched over, clenched and cold, bundled into coats and hoods, sealed into our houses and cars against the cold.

I wake to the sound of birds, neighborhood kids, dogs, squirrels, cars, mowers, more birds. Some little frogs in the drainage creek next door are trilling at night. There are smells, again, now that the forced air heat is off: grass, food, dirt, flowers, wet clay, the neighbor’s dryer-vent and BBQ grill.

It seems an impossible blessing to be able to walk outside barefoot again, to have bouquets of dandelions handed to me by my kids (for which I thank them, and then discreetly feed them to an ecstatic guinea pig.)

I posted more flowers below, as an apology for the gross bruise picture. Off to my last classes for the year.