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The cold, capricious, reluctant Canadian spring…

That’s one of my favorite lines from Anne of Green Gables. I’m a spring baby, and it’s always been my favorite season.

Not to jinx things, but we seem to be having an early spring this year. Dad has been tapping the maples around his house, and the sap is running like water, about three weeks ahead of schedule. After a month of grey skies we’re having warm sunshine, and there’s even a hint of green in the grass here and there. I took skipping ropes to school for the kids this week, a sure sign of renewal. Before long I’ll be looking for these:

Trailing arbutus, known here as mayflowers. I love their appearance, their delicate scent and the family tradition they represent. Every year, my father – who is a closet romantic, though he wouldn’t admit it under torture – picks mayflowers for my mother and me. It’s a small gesture that’s characteristic of a man who has always been most at home outdoors, and who shows his feelings with actions, not words.

To quote LMM again, ‘Mayflowers do not flaunt themselves; they must be sought as becomes them.’ They’re found under the dead leaves of the old year, in forest clearings and along shady wooded paths, making the time spent seeking them a gift in itself. They don’t thrive on cultivated ground, needing the complex mix of nutrients only natural soil can give. Usually mayflowers are at their peak in mid-April and gone by the end of the month, but I have a feeling they might be early this year.

Somehow it seems fitting. After nearly two years of change and upheaval, I’m settled in a new job. I’m teaching ESL now as well as junior high math and science – I’ve regretfully given up teaching the girls English as I was needed in the school’s growing ESL department – and the outlook seems promising. It’s a season of personal renewal for me. The job has slowed down my revisions of McShannon’s Heart, but I’m getting there. March break is next week, so I hope to plow in then.

Yes, spring is my season, capricious and reluctant as it may be.