Is the Winter Finished?

The clocks have been changed and we’ve gained an hour. The sun is out longer during the day and it comes out earlier in the morning.

By all first appearances the cold has been pushed back. It is in a literal retreat.

The warmer air of the past few days gives us all the feeling of spring.

However, it is a bit too early for the annual thaw to take hold and frankly, there is nothing to thaw. The earth isn’t frozen and with the warmer air and longer days and stronger sunlight, the snow doesn’t have much of a chance of hanging around even if it decides to fall in the days and weeks to come.

But then, we had virtually no snow during a winter that barely showed its fangs.

Still, we cannot be lulled into complacency.

It is the complacency that has the power to lull us into a dream of early warmth.

The winter in its last breaths may very well show us its power at the end of March and even into April. As Mark Twain said it so well: Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

We all must prepare for this. It is, after all, inevitability.

That would be the bummer of all bummers.

You see, the early warmth sets our minds wandering and yearning for an early spring.

It is so easy and feels so good to think of being rid of winter – which is like ridding oneself of the need of staying inside.

If you’ve taken a walk outside in the recent warmth you tend to come out of yourself – and even though there are no roses blooming, you are smelling them even in their absence. You see yourself wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts, sitting outside on Newbury Street, Boylston Street or Hanover Street letting the warmth shower you and you are loving the feeling because that is the feeling we associate with the New England spring and summer.

Being outside is an inspiration given what has come before for months. We tend to love it and to love it is to yearn for more of it faster and warmer still.

We’re already watching crocus, brilliantly colored, poking through in our gardens and in public places wherever flowers grow in the city.

Some of the more foolhardy among us are wearing shorts and sandals.

We watch as well, those of us who are baseball fans, as the Red Sox bring addictive views and hints of summer from Florida and spring training onto to our flat screens.

We must enjoy this early warmth without being fooled by it.

Once fooled, always fooled and you can’t fool a true New Englander … for very long.

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