A friend called from Florida. He’d moved there three years ago, but he’d kept a condo in Killington where he went winters to ski, then spring, summer or fall to bike. “How’s the weather up there?” he said.
“Oh, you know,” I said. “Cloudy, drizzly, around fifty to fifty-five. But we have had sun and a few glorious days.”
“Thought so,” he said, his voice flat. And in that flatness I heard, Better you than me.
What I didn’t say was that as I walked the dogs this morning, Lucy and Sam, my two standard poodles I’d noticed buds opening on the apple tree at the end of the driveway, that as we walked out the dirt road, a hedge of forsythia bloomed along the perimeter of a neighbor’s yard, that the in the woods the fiddleheads were growing taller, holding onto just their end curls, that in the marsh green spears of cat tails were pushing their way through last year’s dried stalks, that I came out of the woods at the base of a hilly lawn where clumps of daffodils bloomed their heads off, that I’d stopped to watch a cedar waxwing perched on an out lying branch of a red maple, the bird singing, apparently oblivious to my presence, the branch tottering, its nascent leaves as delicate and perfectly formed as an infant’s hand, that along a swath of grass the dogs romped among snowdrops and violets, that back home I checked on my small vegetable garden near the pool where sets of lettuce were nearly ready for picking, that soon I’d see shoots of arugula, carrots, peas and spinach, that my parsley, oregano, lovage and tarragon had wintered over and were thriving, that the two lilac bushes I’d planted in memory of my parents, first my mother, then my father were unfurling their heart shaped leaves. I didn’t say that anticipation and promise were in the air.
“I think I’ll come up at the end of August. Maybe by then the rain will stop.”
I smiled to myself. “Sounds like a plan.”