Nominal spring

ONE of our respondents reports sighting a robin in Northfield, Minnesota. Another finds the Japanese magnolia are coming out in Washington, DC. Here, we are told, the hawk that wintered in the Boston Public Garden has shifted its roost, and tulips have begun sending up shoots in the warming beds. The calendar says it has been spring for several days now. In another week, daylight savings time will be imposed. But it is not really spring.

Chill lingers. Frisbees fly and Hacky Sacs are kicked about during the sunny afternoon interstices. Yet near-freezing mornings demand cold-weather gear. Evening crispness reminds us a northeaster can still blanket the region in snow as late as Easter.

It is nominal spring. Grass on the common remains brown. Dinginess of the streets awaits the first washing rains. Hints of a new season tantalize us. But the spring dash to summer has not yet begun.

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