A burst of birdsong fills the air.
At first the melody is tentative, than sure, promising gentle days to come, much as a glass of ice-cold beer slakes a thirst on a torrid summer's day.
Soon, other birds begin to warble, chorusing a paean of praise to spring.
Winter has gone. As she slunk off, her narrow face pinched in a frigid scowl, her icy hands were still clutching at us, but her grasp was getting weaker.
Spring is shy. I know she's back, there are signs: It's slowly getting warmer; workmen outside are trading good-natured insults; a chainsaw is growling as dead branches are being cut down; children playing hopscotch squeal and laugh out on the sidewalk.
In flower beds here and there, crocuses are peering up after their long sleep, and a neighbor's dog barks furiously at an oblivious squirrel digging for long-buried nuts.
The days are growing longer, and the aroma of hamburgers sizzling on a grill floats on the breeze. A sense of expectation fills the air.
Spring is here.