It turns out that I love the deep, blood-curdling, all-encompassing cold. I knew I would. We are only a few weeks into spring, and already I miss the vast white fields and frozen lake. I miss my snowboots, my snow overalls, and the long-handled broom I used to push snow off my windshield every morning.
It's the half-cold I can't stand. We've had sunny days and some gray rainy ones. The gray rainy ones aren't so bad, but the sunny cold ones make me crazy. They remind me of winter in Mississippi. There, the sky was always so extradordinarily blue and lovely -- but in the winter, a cold that felt like it came outward from my core appeared. But it wasn't even the cold itself; it was the fact that there was cold at all in this place that was usually so extremely hot. The cold didn't suit Mississippi. It never felt natural. It was like the weather was wearing someone else's ill-fitting clothes, and I was relieved when it threw them off and put on the heat again.
But at least it's not like Oklahoma spring. There, we have to worry about tornadoes. The snakes and ticks wake up. The wind blows. At least it gets beautiful, though. Out in the woods, you find bouquets of Easter lilies and wildflowers. The little trees have buds on their tips, then flowers, then bees and butterflies.
In Italy, spring seemed to come overnight. I went to sleep in winter and woke up to flowerboxes and fields of poppies and women in bright sundresses and silver sandals. The farms and the mountains were almost unbearably picturesque. We'd walk along the canal at Marola wearing sweaters and I wouldn't believe I was awake, living in Italy, in love in the spring. Because spring was when Joe would deploy then. So the in-between springs, when he didn't, were magical.
Anyway, spring here is muddy and cold. We've had a few actually warm days -- in the 70s and 80s -- and those gave me a terrible longing for summer, when, perhaps, it will really be warm. In the meantime, the breeze off the lake is cold, and the sun is a trick. I can't figure out the right configuration of layers to wear, and the dogs' paws are muddy all the time. And when it rains, there are worms all over the sidewalks. I just walk staring straight ahead to get from one place to the next. When the sun comes back out, they dry up in hieroglyphics. It seems unfair. And that is spring.