*or what really goes on with those tiny ladybugs crawling on leaves.

One thing I love is to be be in nature and observe people and things. I took a long walk the other day and even though it feels cold outside, spring is in the air. Finally.

Buds on trees. Flowers sprouting. A wholesome breeze, as best we can tell, from the hygienic confines of our shuttered, dirty windows. Stopping to smell the tiny blossoms on the trees. Ahh, spring.

Snow is gone a long time ago. Rain stops in time for everything to grow and to turn the grass green. The sun is shining. Everything is awash in the glory of dawn. We’re going to have to change out of the winter clothes, aren’t we? Huge downy jackets, scarves, hats, and big, warm outdoor shoes. Our decaying sweaters, which we’ve been comfortable to pass off as winter shrapnel. Our wool socks and musty cardigans replete with cream cheese and merlot stains for which no one judged us during the bleak winter months, but now mark us as failures of contemporary armageddon. Majestic, glorious spring.

Morning dew. Fresh blossoms. Everything wet and clean and wholesome. We probably should think about a traditional bathing routine again. Splashing water from the kitchen faucet into funky nooks in the seconds before Netflix auto-plays the next episode may have provided efficiency during the winter hibernating stages. But actual sunlight and warmth means to go outside, sit outside, meet friends for more outside activities which is all a new set of social protocols. Spring, oh freaking beauty, welcome.

The contours of the season. Sunrise over the horizon. Treelines. Cloud lines. Lines of birds in flight. Lines in outdoor cafés. Lines outside of stores, hungry shoppers using the extra daylight to impossibly extend the lines even further. Lines in front of flower stores. Here a line, there a line, everywhere a — did that elderly couple just cut this line? What is this line even for? Linear, patient springtime. Everybody is supposed to be happy. It is spring.

Butterflies and ladybugs. Honey bees, wasps, (I know the difference) and mosquitoes. Spiders and ants (everywhere in the house and at weird locations), beetles and lice. All critters foraging, procreating, living, murdering each other, but mostly ruining happy hour because how can we possibly know whether they are resting or attempting defecation near us?

Fellow citizens taking to the outdoors again, enjoying the fresh air and camaraderie. Laughing. Walking. Jogging. Employing peripheral vision to dodge the scooters and mopeds and hovercraft. From bicycle to skateboard, every mode of transportation has undergone a winter metamorphosis, arriving to the new season in motorized splendor. Whirring and sputtering and threatening to concuss magical strollers adrift appear from everywhere. “I didn’t know she was pregnant”, a friend asked. I tell my friend to stop using the pronoun “she” since you never know if the person is a transgender man or woman who is now a man or man who is now a woman. My friend looks a little bewildered. She might not haven taken all the mandatory gender courses yet. Well, it is just the beginning of spring. Exciting, dystopian spring.

The birds are magnificent as they forage maniacally for morning sustenance. Suicidal attempts by flying against windows. Baby ducks. Baby gulls. Baby woodpeckers. Baby everything. Baby new species that did not territorialize the park benches last spring with those aggressive stares. All a flight at once, the sky speckled with their wretched persistence, chirping and hooting and cawing. Were there always this many birds? Is there a sky ordinance, perhaps similar to leash laws, that might curtail the flight patterns of these grandiose creatures? Glorious, melodic wonder.

The scents of the equinox. Freshly mowed grass. Trees exuding their rapturous whiff. Flower petals emitting nectar. Street sweepers swirling it all into a fastidious dirt. Greetings, itchy, watery eyes. Nice to see you again, hives. Good day, post-nasal drip; it would not be the budding season without you. I take a deep breath, inhale, exhale and let as much fresh air into my lungs as possible. The woman close to me wears two masks, protective goggles, plastic gloves, and sneezes. Is Covid still a thing? She sneezes into her mask, a somewhat undetectable “achoo” beneath the fabric, pollen and spittle and angst politely exploding and staying put on nose and lips and dimples. The circle of life, welcome back.

Happy Easter, everyone. Now, go grab those eggs.

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