Kage Baker loved the return of Spring. She liked it best when it was also a return to warmth – she had salamander blood, and suffered through even a California winter. But cold or hot, she took the change to Spring each year as a personal delight displayed for her delectation.
Today, just today, I am suddenly aware that yes, Spring is indeed on the way. It’s beautiful, but I’m not always ready every year; I like winter, I like the quiet, icy months when the world is made of crystals and reflections. But today … so many signs suddenly, it looks like a good idea is come round again, at last. Kage would tot them them up on her fingers, and gloat …
The feral parrots that live between Atwater and Pasadena were sweeping through, screaming like banshees and alighting in the camphor trees to eat the fresh new leaves. My baby Santa Rosa plum tree in the backyard is suddenly covered with pale pink blossoms – there will be plums! The roses are all showing brand new ruby-glass bumps that will unfold into leaves. The lawn is back to a verdant carpet, after the horrible summer heat and the astonishing winter frost both assaulted it: clearly, I picked a good grass for the new lawn last year.
Pigeons are courting, shameless and inconvenient, like drunken waltzers circling round and round under foot, everywhere. Skunks and raccoons are out o’nights – we can smell the skunks, and we can hear the raccoons. These days, we close the animal door after dark, and every few nights, some idiot raccoon runs full tilt into the door … the kitchen echoes with the THUMP. I admit to sniggering when it happens.
There have been tulips on my desk, and today there are hyacinths. I found Clo milk from Northern California at Whole Foods – best milk in the world! I shall have it with fresh bread, and a bowl of the first strawberries with yoghurt made from ewes’ milk. Kate, the young wife of Prince William-who-will-be-king is with child: and she’s probably carrying a baby Queen! Her grandad pushed through a change in the rules of succession a while back, so even if it’s a maid-child in Kate’s belly – she will one day rule England. And who can ask for a better sign of Spring than a princess, for heaven’s sake?
The Pope has retired and retreated to Castle Gandolfo, clearing the way for – one hopes – a more liberal pontiff. Hugo Chavez has died – one less tyrant in the world as we spin into light. A little girl born two years ago with AIDS has been proclaimed healthy and virus-free – the first child to be cured, and may she be an incandescent bubble on a spring tide of cured children!
People of my acquaintance are having babies, and buying houses, and graduating from schools, and getting new jobs. The Bay Bridge has been hung with light and is now fit to be a highway to faerieland. I don’t have cancer.
It’s Life, man, and it’s everywhere suddenly. Ultra whoopee cool, as Kage used to say. Ultra atomic whoopee cool.