My first outdoor walk this spring happened this past weekend. Since it isn’t possible to magically transport one’s readers to Toronto to experience this for themselves for half an hour, I’ll tell you exactly what it was like.
The wind had a slight cold snap to it, and I shuddered a little bit every time it blew against me.
There were still dirty patches of snow on the ground. They were especially noticeable in parts of my neighbourhood that don’t get a lot of sunlight in the average day.
The sunnier places where other snowdrifts had recently melted were now soggy puddles of cigarette butts, lost receipts, candy wrappers, and other small pieces of garbage.
A few people were bundled up in big, warm coats like it was still winter. Others had transitioned to lighter spring jackets.
Some of the dogs were still wearing their cold-weather jackets, too.
The ground was muddy in the places where it wasn’t paved over with cement. It was brown and dull just like the bare trees and most of the bushes.
But on the Other Hand….
There was no ice on the ground at all. I could walk as quickly as I wanted to without any fear of slipping and falling.
The temperature was warmer than it’s been in months.
No one was wearing toques, gloves, or scarves. Many people who were wearing heavier coats had left them unzipped. This isn’t something that happens when it’s truly cold outside.
Some of the dogs weren’t wearing any winter coats at all.
One guy was walking down the street while wearing running shoes, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt. I would have been chilly if I were him, but maybe he was from a much colder climate and found 10 C balmier than people in southern Ontario do.
When the sunlight touched my face, it felt warm. It’s always a happy surprise when that happens for the first time in the spring!
There were the beginnings of so many flowers poking up from the soil that I couldn’t begin to count them all. It’s too early for the majority them to have buds yet, but their stems were looking green and healthy.
I even saw two red flowers that had already begun to bloom. They must have either been recently transplanted from a warm indoor location or be varieties that don’t require many warm days at all before they bloom.
When I looked at the trees closely, I saw tiny buds on their branches.
Some parts of the sky were brilliantly blue. Toronto can go many weeks without a single clear day during the autumn and winter, so it was a thrill to look up and not see a thick layer of grey clouds overshadowing the sun and sky. It was like the world had doubled in size overnight.
Spring has finally, truly arrived in my city. I look forward to many long walks as the weather warms up. What are you looking forward to this spring?