Today I saw a drowned worm on the sidewalk, the first of the year. I think that might be an even more powerful harbinger of spring than the warm weather we had for a few days, or the tiny green leafbuds on the tree outside my bedroom window, or even the small, red growths on the rose bush that signify leaves and blooms in the future. I think this is my favorite time of year, even if the contrary weather is currently making things bleak and gray. Hints and promises are all over the place, like the small green spikes of flowering bulbs, and the beginnings of new growth on my thyme plants.
Also, all the yarn scraps left over from the pom-poms on Liv’s Hat of Awesomeness (more about that later) which I scattered on my windowsill yesterday have disappeared. I hope that the birds have taken them for nesting material, not that they’ve simply blown away. Our backyard is very bird-heavy these days. It’s been fun identifying them. We have a nesting pair of cardinals – the lady is so funny looking in her deep red brown feathers with that bright orange beak. There are also finches, both plain and rosy, (I’m kind of excited about them, because I read that they’re one of the few birds aggressive enough to chase off the ever-present sparrows) and chickadees. The chickadees were the most difficult to identify. It took me a while to get a good look at them. For a while I had convinced myself that the black and white bird that kept showing up on the suet feeder was a kind of woodpecker. Then I saw a picture of chickadees in the bird feeder catalog and immediately recognized the birds in my backyard. Now every time I hear them sing it makes me smile.
Something else that makes me smile is my Swing Club kids. They’ve started coming out to more of the local swing events, which has been delightful. There’s a lot of them, so I’ve been borrowing my parents’ van to chauffeur them around. On Saturday I took them out to the monthly dance. They were a huge hit with the regular swing people. They’re so young and excited and, well, innocent. (Mark: “They’re like swing dancers before Original Sin.”) I enjoy watching them. They’re not the best dancers by a long shot – there are almost universal frame problems, footwork issues, etc. – but they’re learning and growing at such a pace! Plus, they’re just so cute! They’re very sick of that adjective, and I don’t blame them, but it fits so exactly there’s simply no other word to use. Several of them will be taking the Balboa workshop this month, more than will fit in my car, so I’m borrowing the van every Wednesday to take them. I can’t wait!