No, not by lengthening days or cautious green of a bulb's nose poking through the wintry ground we knew that spring was near, but - in between - for us, there was one sure heraldic sound: a motor's groan, the ss-s of brakes, as city bus arriving at our corner brought the tall, lean seamstress home to sew spring clothes for us. We children met her with a hug, seized all her parcels, fat with items of her trade, and black umbrella she carried every day to complement the black attire that made a well-bred rustle as she went our way. We called her ''Bodkin.'' She called us ''Little Pins.'' Remembering, another spring begins.