And so it begins, rivers and streams shaking off their ice and running free, returning robins in the garden fluffing themselves up against the wind, pussy willows down by the pond putting out soft, furry catkins.
It is still cold here and will be for some time, but there are signs that Lady Spring is on her way at last. Tricksters one and all, starlings in the village are losing their winter stars and pretending to be songbirds who will not return for weeks. Owls are nesting in the woods, and the first maple syrup run of the season has already taken place in the Lanark Highlands.
At some time in the next few weeks, trumpeter swans and sandhill cranes will pass through on their way north, and it will not be long until the geese and loons return. Even when I am completely wrapped up in one household thing or another, I find myself listening for the music of old friends coming home. How sweet it is.