Closer to spring

I can feel the sun and see the smiles and hear the music. It’s the best time of the year.


I realized today that, three weeks from tomorrow, we leave for South by Southwest. That means it’s almost spring. Because the day after we get back from Austin is the first day of spring. And while we’re in Austin, it’s as good as spring. (Except for last year. Last year was unseasonably cold. But who remembers last year?)

This month—the second month of 2006—is nearly behind us. Where do the days go? I saw my first crocuses of the year last week…right before the wind gusted and the rain fell and the temperature dropped 40 degrees in one hour. I saw my first robins in late January (poor things; they must be miserable right about now). But once those first flowers poke through the ground, I know I’ve made it; I’ve survived another winter. The tulips and the daffodils won’t be far behind.

And South by…it’s something we look forward to all year. Around September, it becomes OK to begin planning for it, scheduling your trip, alerting your friends and your part-time jobs. In January, it starts to become a reality as you’ve got the reservations and the accommodations. By this time, the schedule’s posted and you can start planning your festival experience. And then, just as quickly as it’s here, it’s gone. Another whole year to wait.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Because it’s not here yet. Because we haven’t climbed into the minivan (all five of us, same as last year) and driven the 16 hours from St. Louis to Austin. Because we haven’t tested the endurance limits of our eardrums and our legs and our feet and our livers. But it’s all coming. I can taste the Lone Star and the Mexican food (I know, most of the festivalgoers look forward to the Tex-Mex or the BBQ, but it’s the authentic Mexican food that really sways me). I can feel the sun and see the smiles and hear the music. It’s the best time of the year.

And it’s only made better by the time of year: the days leading up to the spring equinox. When the days once again become longer than the nights, and the weather’s getting warmer and everything is blooming, rebirthing. It’s my favorite time of year, hands down. Why else do you think I was born on March 19 if not to fully enjoy every second of the spring?

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