Here today, gone tomorrow — that’s Spring for you

She flirted with Torontonians yesterday. I hear she’s headed east today. Beware; she’ll toy with your senses, and just when you’re reaching out to embrace her, splat! She’ll slap you with a wet blanket of snow.

I’m sitting enjoying my morning coffee as I type these words. The sun was rising with me a few moments ago, a beacon of light just above the horizon. But my beacon has disappeared behind has curtain of misty rain descending on Lake Ontario.

Ah, Spring, you are so tentative. So quick to visit, so uncertain about staying for any length of time. I’m told you’ll settle in here in Ontario a little sooner than has been my experience with you in Atlantic Canada. I’m looking forward to that, although not quite believing it will happen.

You know Spring has committed to hanging around in the Maritimes when the fiddleheads pop up.

On Wednesday, Torontonians flung off their parkas and pulled out the patio chairs as temperatures hit 17 C. I could feel my own temperature rising as an end-of-day meeting went longer than planned and my hopes of enjoying the sunshine began to fade.

I’d been outside at lunch, had welcomed the warmth of the sun by stashing my own coat in the back of the car and going about in my shirtsleeves. We should make such a day a national holiday; we could call it Unbundling Canada Day, or Break-free Day, or Suddenly-I-Feel-Like-Exercising Day.

I know I did. Feel like exercising. In fact, I even followed through on the thought.

When my meeting ended, I shuffled papers into a pile on my desk, switched off my computer and headed for the quickest route home possible (which in Toronto still means a 25 minute drive for me).

Even so, I made it home while the sun was shining; the air warm, and people were still outside, everywhere. They were walking dogs, riding bikes, roller blading, sitting on park benches, standing around car fenders, chatting with an idleness that never surfaces frigid evenings.

I laced up my sneakers and headed out toward the lake. I’ve walked the trails that border my neighbourhood in west Toronto a few times this winter, but not nearly enough. Chilly winds deter me and I’m not disciplined enough about exercise to rise above my lethargy.

A sign of Spring: Ducks slipping off the receding ice into open water.

But Spring entices me to exercise. She can be so mild in her approach, so gracious, a welcome, breezy, comfortable friend who doesn’t exact much of anything from you. No shoveling, no sunscreen necessary, no raking of leaves.

Eventually, she’ll expect you to tidy up the garden and plant a few flowers. But for now, Spring simply is. She’s the perfect season for a meditative mindset, for just being.

I fully expect her to come and go, disappointing me a little, but also leaving me with some hope of her return (for I have years of experience with this hesitant friend. In the end, she always comes back).

Today, the weather report on the radio tells me we can still find a trace of Spring. It’s 12 C as I rise from bed at 6:30 a.m., which is a fine temperature for early March. But, beware; those temperatures are falling like a load of bricks. It will be cold again by the time I leave the office at suppertime.

I understand Spring needs to move on. She’s headed east to tempt Atlantic Canadians with her charms. Having experienced Spring against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean for most of my life, I’m surprised I’ve come to love her as much as I do.

On the east coast, her visits are oh so very lovely, but oh so very cruel. Without a doubt there will be an April snowstorm, perhaps even a blizzard in store for the east. And when that happens, Spring will be nowhere to be found.

When Spring turns to snow, make snow people. They cheer you up.

Well, let me correct that. She might have hightailed it back to Toronto. I’m told Spring settles herself comfortably here by early April, spreads her finery around, warms everyone with her presence.

I hope that’s true. For Spring has long been my favourite season and I like the idea of enjoying it for a month or two longer than has been my experience previously in life.

A long Spring could be just the thing to get me moving after a sedentary winter. I might even begin to get in shape, enticed by the sunshine to taking invigorating walks.

It’s raining now and the wind is whipping up white caps on the lake. My coffee is cold. I’m about to pull my winter jacket from the closet, put on my gloves and turn the heater on in the car.

Ah Spring, you are such a tease. But thanks for giving me one day of your presence. I’ll be here when you return from the east.

Lynda MacGibbon is a transplanted Maritimer living in Toronto. Her column appears each Friday in the Moncton Times & Transcript. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @lyndamacgibbon.

2 thoughts on “Here today, gone tomorrow — that’s Spring for you

  1. Ha! And when she finally settles in for the duration, you won’t even have to rake wet leaves, or clean up the garden. You’ll be able to stride forth to the lake and just enjoy her company without having to work for it.

    Yes…she is headed this way…13C forecast for Monday. I will kiss her hello for you…I can’t wait!

    1. She’s supposed to be back here in Toronto Sunday, so I’ll enjoy her company and then send her one her merry way to you, Deb! Can’t say I’ll miss the wet, mouldy leaves!

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