It was a sunny, warm day in spring. One of those days when the heat from the sun seems almost unbearably warm because there’s not yet any shade from trees to provide pockets of relief. Still, people can’ t resist getting out of their houses and, if not intentionally subjecting themselves to sunlight, at least they flirt with brief exposures while puttering in their yards or pulling a few weeds before deciding to sweep out their garages or reorganize their covered porches.

I was sitting on my patio, in the shade of my neighbour’s garage, after having partaken in such spring rituals, sucking back my third Corona and listening to the sounds of the neighbourhood, as people began to change from winter mode to spring/summer mode.  I can remember entertaining the following thoughts.

The icy, grey snowbanks are but a hazy memory. In the distance, the ubiquitous, buzzy whine of a leaf blower is removing the detritus of winter’s residue from yards, gardens, walkways. A brave bird pierces the air with his loud sweet song. “Tweeta-tweeta-tweeta.” To romantics, this is the sweet song of spring. And it is sweet, that song. It does mean that spring has arrived. Because the bold male is up there in the tree saying, “Here I am girls! Here I am! You have a need you want filled? Here I am! Need filler and all!” I raise my Corona in toast to his luck and his pluck and settle myself in to be an older male of the human species, who gets lucky every now and then, but wishes he were younger and bolder, like the bird.

Ah yes, the big, helio-centric wheel has turned to spring once again, and I am still here to enjoy it. Human versions of the bird-brain variety will soon be cruising slowly around neighbourhoods with their wildly amplified bass beats drumming out their own brand of “Here I am,” but too often I think the “girls” part is left off in favour of the simpler, existential, “Here I am!” It seems to be more like, “Here I am, world. No one can deny me. Here I am.” Older folks like me silently hope that the one who needs such recognition will soon distance himself from their locale and his noise will become muted, blended into the larger tapestry of sound that weaves through the city.

Spring has arrived! But for today, I look forward to the relief provided by the gentler, oblique angle of evening sunlight, as the Earth slowly turns its energized face away from the sun to get some regenerative rest, slowly pulling up its blanket of shade during the time of long shadows, heading into twilight.