Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 9, 2004
A Warm Spring Day
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 9, 2004 – At last a day without a coat – sunny and forty-eight degrees. Cold by summer’s standards but warm for spring. It’s Good Friday and I’m working today so I was up early to look after The Alphabet Boys and then have morning coffee before I jumped into the shower.
By 10:30 I was in my car, headed out to the west end of the city. I decided to drive along the Lakeshore so I could meander beside by the water. Traffic was light due to the holiday, but I certainly wasn’t the only person taking advantage of the morning. People were already out roller blading, walking and biking. Running groups dotted the board walk by the lake and dozens of people were being tugged along by their dogs who danced furiously at the ends of their leashes.
On Roncesvalles Avenue, the corner stores were alive with shoppers picking up fresh produce and chatting with one another. Potted Easter Lilies lined the sidewalks of many of the stores and customers were idly comparing them – one to the other – before deciding on a purchase. There is a wonderful sense of ‘aliveness’ on a warm day like this. A sloughing off of winter’s last claim to our souls and a welcome to the birth of spring.
When I parked my car, neighbours were out in front of their homes with rakes and hoes starting to do the annual spring clean up before turning the soil for planting flowers in May. One man was leaning on his shovel handle chatting casually with a woman and her young daughter. Two other women walked by and greeted them with a cheerful ‘good morning’. Porch furniture has been uncovered and windows are being cleaned. There is a lovely lightness to the morning and for some reason these chores don’t seem like work in the spring.
We’ve made it through another winter and our hearts and spirits can relax. The feeling is akin to taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. I was with my client for three hours – evaluating her circumstances and making plans. One daughter was cavorting outside in the back yard with a friend and the other was seriously trying her mother’s patience, insisting on wearing a summer dress, shoes and a little pull on cotton hat. The two kittens, Thing One and Thing Two were dashing and tumbling over each other as my client and I walked through the house.
By the time I left, the day was even warmer and people were walking everywhere. A couple of men were hand washing a vintage car on the corner and another man went by with seven dogs on leads. He must be a professional dog walker, but I still can’t imagine how he keeps all the leashes separated. The shops were crowded now and the few restaurants that were open were full of people, chatting and laughing in groups, or sitting alone reading the paper and drinking coffee.
When I got home I changed into my jeans and immediately took Augie out for a romp around the neighbourhood. He sensed the freshness of the day as well and had to investigate every nook and cranny of our walk. Augie bops along smiling at everyone he sees. He always elicits the same comment – “What a happy looking dog”.
People talk to one another on a day like this. Greetings and smiles abound. The sun feels glorious on the skin and the promise of more warm days to come invigorates and heartens the soul. I’ll remember this kind of day next January when the land is frigid and the skies are grey. After my walk with Augie, I came home and had a warm tea with honey and then snoozed on the sofa. I’m going to nurse the last of this bad cold and relax this evening. Today has revived my soul. Even though it’s still early April and I know bad weather can still darken the landscape, I’m sure of spring’s power to blossom anew. What a blessing!