oh april

9:35 AM

I was driving to the gym yesterday, windows down Cranberries "Dreams" blasting into the open air, because there's really no other song that says "it's april! it's warm! life is beautiful!" quite like that song. I started to count the number of cars doing essentially the same thing and I lost count after a dozen or so. Even the grumpy guy at the post office wished me a "great day." Well goodness, I was already right in the middle of one!
I passed a business that had long gone under in our tiny town of 300 and it seems that spring had come even to it's sad storefront as there were five or so people painting and putting up signs for a new dance studio. I couldn't think of anything better myself! All around town there were little signs of life here and there - the smell of mulch and rows upon rows of plump bags full of potting soil lining our local Ben Franklin. And buds! Buds are everywhere, including the bush by our house and I'm just counting down the days until they burst open with the most delicate pink flowers.
It's funny how a change of season brings so much joy and warmth, both literal and figurative. I bought two hefty branches of pussy willows at the farmer's market this past weekend and every time I look at them they remind of spring days in England when mum would take us down to the Thames after school to pick a few to take home and feed the swans our lunch leftovers. Springtime in England certainly wasn't as balmy as it is here but the winters here aren't nearly as wet and depressing as they were there either so you take what you can get when you can get it. Our afternoons are spent in the yard cleaning up the remainder of the leaves from last autumn and the fallen branches that were victims of this harsh winter. Birdie ambles around in her boots inspecting this and that and poor Belle just can't contain her excitement over finally being able to enjoy the outdoors again. Me? I'm just happy to feel the warm sun on my face, I'll take a seat on a tree stump and just sit there soaking it all, in the words to Lonestar's song dancing in my head:

I've traveled here and everywhere following my job
I've seen the paintings from the air brushed by the hand of God
The mountains and the canyons reach from sea to shining sea
But I can't wait to get back home to the one He made for me
'Cause anywhere I'll ever go and everywhere I've been
Nothing takes my breath away like my front porch looking in

Ain't that the truth? Sometimes country folk just get it right don't you think? 

The evenings have been spent cooking dinner, often barefoot and always with the windows open. Once May comes I'll be cursing our lack of central air but right now it's nice that it forces us to open up those windows and listen to the sound of crickets and feel those gentle gusts of April wind sweeping their way around our house. We eat our dinner lazily dreaming of the summer days ahead full of saltwater, the smell of sunscreen and picnics under the shade of a generous tree. 

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