Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring is upon us!

I love spring. Flowers bloom, leaves regrow and turn a bright, beautiful green, the sun shines longer each day, and people awake from their winter hibernation mode.

Don't get me wrong, we all know how much I love winter and the cold weather that comes with that wonderful's just that you've caught me at the one period of time where I get a little sick of the whole winter thing. At this point in the year, the snow is gone (assuming we got any, which we didn't really at all this year) but the drab, dead-looking trees and grass are still waiting for the breath of spring to blow life back into them. And the weather can never decide whether to be cold or lukewarm or warm or cold again. So don't blink, or you might miss the small window of time in which you can actually catch me say a few complaints related to the cold weather. Haha!

But, back to springtime. Now, in MN, the awakening from winter hibernation seems gradual, as people start going to parks more and more, they start showing up outside for longer periods of time, they start walking around town more often. It's almost slow enough that you don't notice it happening. Very midwestern feeling. Slow, but not ridiculously so. Just a nice, easy pace to the awakening from the winter hibernation period.

But here in Boston, there is no gradual awakening. There is no slow and easy transition into the post-hibernation period. It's as if people here can't believe it's actually warm out again. I've walked around the city all winter long, and not really run into too much traffic on the sidewalks because few people really brave the winter weather for a nice, peaceful walk or run. But these days (we're talking in the last few weeks here) the city of Boston seems to have tripled its "outside population." It's amazing! Suddenly people are everywhere! They fill the sidewalks, the streets, the parks, the stores, the cafes and restaurants. Sort of like a mass awakening from this winter hibernation. It's as if they all called each other and planned on the day when they'd simultaneously hit the streets of the city and show their bright new spring faces. Craziness!

And it makes me wonder where they all come from. It's like a huge crop of people just descended on the streets of Boston. Suddenly we have a population again! A pedestrian population to make Boston look once again like a pedestrian city.

Sure, in a practical sense, I understand that Boston has a large population and that it's a very condense city. So logically, it follows that each person lives somewhere in the endless apartment buildings and houses that one can find in this city and it's immediate suburbs. But it's just surprising to suddenly see all these people all at once. [Remember, this coming from the girl used to a gradual transition to a non-hibernating population back in the old Midwest.]

I said at the beginning of this post that I love spring. I have to say, though, that the experience of spring in Boston makes the transition from winter that much more fun and exciting for me. It's energizing to see all the people outside, walking the streets, talking and laughing and hanging out...instead of the winter alternative of huddling into their coats, running into warm buildings, and generally avoiding going outside when at all possible. My walks through the city are invigorating as I pass random people humming to themselves, smiling at passersby, talking to friends, and enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures. It makes me want to stand on a roof somewhere and shout:

Hello people of Boston! Glad you've all awakened once again from winter hibernation and shown your beautiful faces in our wonderful city once more! See you around town!

Thanks for making me smile, Boston. See you around town!

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