I have never loved March more than I have during its first week this year. It's been sunny and mild, and in the afternoons when I pull into work, I hear water dripping off of the roof.
In northern places, March is never very pretty. All of the trash and far-flung gravel hidden beneath a season's worth of snow begins to reveal itself. The ground is sodden, muddy, and brown. The trees are still bare and tired looking, like old bones.
But the sunshine is intoxicating. It's impossible for me to walk out of the house without a smile, whether I am trudging through the slush in the afternoon or slipping across patches of ice in the evening. The sound of gravel under car tires, the feel of soft ground underfoot, the dripping of water - all of these are sensations I have not experienced in months. They feel new and exciting.
People will always complain about the mud, and I'm sure I will too, as the month drags on. But this week, I am in love with it. Walking the dogs along the road, the snowbank was still thigh-high, but my boots sunk into the ground. That give, the soft suction, was a wonderful feeling after three months of ice and snow.
This week, our dog Hannah began her old habit of asking to be let outside, simply to stretch out on the deck and soak up the sunshine. Soon we'll keep an old towel near the door to wipe off her paws before she comes into the house - the first habit of ours that grows out of spring.