Sunday, March 9, 2008

Moderate Unrest.

A day where all the clocks are broken. A free hour. Or one taken away. It seems too soon for this, like we haven't earned it, and the weather's all wrong: my time in this town is measured by the cold snap in April that comes well after the time change, a whiskey in a glass on the trunk of the car and long sleeves and one last chance to pull on a watchcap and stand on Carr Street under the blooming wisteria and light smudge fires in the rows of tomatoes planted way too soon, the sky still light at 7:30 and everybody wondering if it will really freeze. But this? This is no cold snap. It's meant to be cold still. It hasn't even occurred to me to plant tomatoes. I haven't even pulled the cages out of the ground from last year. To be clear: I love Daylight Savings Time with all my heart and all my soul. There is nothing better than sitting on the porch and watching a watery dusk set in and looking up and realizing it's 8:30. But we should have to deserve all that. It's too soon to say it's too light out for it to be this cold. I'm worried that along with all else we may have legislated away the tail end of winter.

But there was that white-blue sky, and a Sunday drive with the dog in the truck to school and back to run an administrative errand of the type that comes with this job at this time of year, which in light of the above now seems almost regulatory, almost welcome. I will take the odd March reminder. And I will take last night's moon, and tonight's, thin slivered rips in the cleaned-out sky, and I will take Orion, further and further west in the after-dark: We are well our way, and even in today's cold there was a heat in the sun, a promise of what might be in store later in the week, color just now showing on the buds on the Japanese magnolia out front. The drought has budded that tree out at about half its regular showing this year, but there are still buds nonetheless, and still the ends of this week's crocus bloom beneath it, still the daffodils, still the tulips coming well along. My only complaint, then, is that moving all this time change up steps right down on anticipation, leaves us out of what used to be a kind of magnificent purgatory, the darkened back-and-forth of March. What's March for, if it isn't to wonder about how long it might stay light? And we were moving along well enough under our own power— in the past couple of weeks we'd stretched on past six o'clock and towards six-thirty—

Too easy for all this to become lament. On the dogwalk late this evening, sun still up at seven, there was the clear and sure smell of cut grass. And for dinner, on our potatoes, chives that wintered through. All of that's too early, too, of course, but it is here, and I cannot push it back, and soon enough the mint will be up, and a ball game on the radio, and there is enough of me ready for those things, desperately sentimental or no, that when tomorrow morning comes, and the sun is not shining through my window at 6 a.m., and the cats hang on one more hour before banging on the goddamn door for breakfast, I will be happy. Worried. Unsettled. Nervous about what time it is, what the weather might be. But happy. I think. I hope.

Spring forward, friends and fans of weather. Fall back.

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