There would be no snow in March, surely. Surely it was a practical joke by someone on Twitter, by those incompetent weathermen, by God. No snow in March in our sweet Virginia, state of lovers and geriatric little mountains and hardly anything deadly. I'd already seen a butterfly, for crying out loud.
There was snow in March.
Our Alaskan friends let us know how very much warmer and unsnowy it was up there.
It came, like the White Witch nobody invited to spring's birthday party, and it went like it realized that it was not welcome. It ghosted with no follow-up refreeze and ice, for once.
But then, spring: spring's fury. It's not a furious season, is it? Maybe it's we that are furiously, dog-at-a-hose drinking it. Suddenly all is life and carousels and daffodils and flip-flops and cherry blossoms and walks and tulips and skirts, oh, and the smell of fertilizer and pesticide in mulch.
I hunt it with my lenses; formerly elusive prey now preens in front of me and taunts me by jumping out of the way with a breeze at the last minute. We plaster the internet with spring; it becomes a shrine to hope, or to plant propagation, or whatever you make of it.
The crowds descended upon the city for peak bloom--such a doomsday name, such an enthusiastic crowd. We all got on trains and highways and rushed headlong into sweaty human gridlock. Cameras outstretched, selfies happening, picnics being spread, branches being shaken because kids cannot resist the mesmerizing petal rain. (And thankfully there were volunteers to stop that.) Rugby players gathered to do jovial violence to one another; ultimate frisbee players--skinny and nimble and sober--have taken over their spot on the National Mall.
I got a sunburn.
We have petals in our hair, between our toes, in our pockets and the cracks of our books. Our parking lot is drowning in them, a swirling sea of pink and white. The kids dive their fingers in, amazed at all the life where there was death just last week. They toss them into the air, because they cannot resist the mesmerizing petal rain. I sit on the curb to watch, and we actually see our neighbors for once.
My girl picks me flower after flower. She hears a motorcycle roar by and asks if it's a lion. My boy brings me bouquets of rocks and poisoned mulch, "Dee-oo-doh Mama!". They go to bed exhausted and sweaty and dirty--sometimes baths and sheet-washing have to wait for the morning. We have our priorities here, after all.
The naked trees put on their pearls, then their pink dresses and then their green boas, and we start thinking about settling in for the long, sweet Virginia summer.