I love the trees in spring
Shy spindly arms
Offer green couplet promises,
Tentatively.

When I was a child, I used to track the advance of spring by the amount of hours I could read by the light after I was supposed to be in bed. My clandestine reading in winter was accomplished by hiding under my covers with whatever flashlight or penlight I could sneak into my room and I would have to take breaks from the stuffiness to come up for air. Spring brought fresh air, nature sounds, freedom. Long summer nights are intricately woven into my childhood memories.

Now I watch sunlight creep in through my bedroom window earlier and earlier every morning. At 5 am, the neighbourhood is an amphitheatre of birds, taking advantage of the human-less streets to conduct the last important pieces of business. The crips rays draw me from my bed - rising becomes easier and I feel anticipation for the day ahead. My body feels lighter when I wake now, stirred by warm light and fragrant mornings. Even on the rainy days, the smell is different, promising. The grey skies intensify the green leaves outside of my window, reminding me that water is growth, energy, peace. This is the time of year that offers infinite potential. The scarred logs, pulled down by ice storms and desiccated by snow and frost, become blanketed in moss, grass and small flowers. Outside, an orchestra of spring flowers rises and falls, each section giving way to the next. Crocuses, tulip trees, apple blossoms, then lilacs, irises and asiatic lilies, peonies. 

I head to street level, once again becoming a flâneuse. Instead of rushing, I meander through the streets of Montreal now, becoming reacquainted with architecture and and residents alike. I remember what my fellow urbanites look like, I am reminded of their movements and mannerisms. I observe, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes engaging, and I linger in the sun in spontaneous conversation. Canadians are like solar panels: once the sun comes out, our faces turn upward, our shoulders un-hunch. We turn to the beams, storing them for later. We shed our parkas and our hesitancy, opening up once again to friends and strangers. Spring is Québec’s apology for winter.

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