Officially, Spring doesn’t begin until April 21 but many people have their own notions of the start of Spring. Some people feel that it begins with the blooming of the forsythia ; others think of it as the day they are sure that there will be no more snow and that they can put away the shovels and the salt .For me . it begins on the day we open the windows and keep them open. This year , it happened last Monday, April 8th.
Winter ,in New jersey , begins to taper off in mid-March . It is still cold ,but the temperature begins to inch up from the forties into the fifties. Occasionally , there are birds to be seen perching on the overhead lines; a robin alights briefly on the rail of the back porch. A squirrel darts across the backyard and we know the snows will not return until next year. Sometimes , to be sure there is a lone snowstorm even in April but it is an aberration and we know it is winter’s last cruel joke .
It is time to open the windows.
The weather outside may be as low as fifty-five but it still feels good as the wind rushes in through the house. We put away the down comforters and the flannel sheets . Our clothing becomes lighter. No more need of overcoats , sometimes not even for windbreakers. With the windows open , we become aware of sounds . Early in the morning when we still in bed, we once again hear the distant chime of church bells . A freight train clatters by , the clack of its wheels muted but still audible in the distance. And then there are the birds , wheeling overhead in great arcs before caucusing on the transmission lines. Down the road , there is a once again a sign in the church parking lot ” FLEAMARKET OPEN TUESDAYS ” and cars spill over onto the sides of the neighboring streets. The forsythia plant, which last Sunday was bare and twiglike, blossoms overnight into a mass of yellow and the cherry tree bursts into bloom.
We are not among those who pine for summer . Summer , particularly in late July- August can be very hot and stifling . We value spring for itself , not as a prelude to summer. For the next six weeks or so , the weather will be perfect as the temperatures hover between fifty-five and eighty . Usually , towards the end of May, it begins to feel hot in the house at nights . Even with the fan on , we begin to feel sticky. We try to bear it as long , trying to put off the day when we have to turn on the A.C. Finally , the day comes when we surrender, usually June 1st . The windows are closed again and the A.C comes on . It is the end of open window season, at least until mid September .