Thursday, April 10, 2008

April Games

We work and hope so long and so hard for Spring that it's easy to forgot that sometimes it snows in April. Occasionally we wake to discover the ground has turned white, the sidewalks have frozen over and our windshields are in need of a good scraping. It's a heartbreaking moment, sliding the curtains open, pulling the blinds up and seeing the big fluffy flakes falling on the grass we rolled on just yesterday. It shouldn't be this way, we think. It's hard to remember that here in Denver April is the snowiest month, that nearly every Spring we suffer a crushing setback, the kind of storm that stops traffic for hours and takes down power lines, along with budding, and slowly leafing tree limbs. As sweet as April is there are moments I wish she'd stay gray and dreary on the promise that come May Day there would be only sunshine and blue skies. But, like I said, she's sweet and it's a hard thing to do, to turn one's back on sweetness.

The world was white this morning and while my feet became heavy and the still-damp hair on the back of my head froze, Duncan couldn't have looked more pleased. He did that Duncan Thing, running in circles around me, cutting deep green trails through the fluff. He is delighted by everything but, after weeks of flowers and afternoons sitting on the patio reading a book, it was hard to follow suit. It was hard to do anything but sigh. As we walked down the yard, following the drainage trough which runs the length of the fence I noticed that what little remained of last night's rain had frozen into very thin and very clear puddles across the cement surface of the trough. While Duncan peed I looked down at one of the puddles and saw a single worm, now white and curled up upon itself, caught in the ice, frozen solid. Mere hours earlier it had crawled out of the damp earth, happy the ground had thawed and somehow or another found itself trapped and cold and dead. Kapow! Just like that. My own weariness at April's games paled in comparison. I may be cold, my socks may get wet but at least I'm not a wormcicle frozen by what will surely be the last storm of the year. I'd rather be on the bright and fluffy side of the snow than the frozen side of the drainage trough.

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