MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Sweeping into spring

Everybody has a different view about the first signs of spring, especially amongst us Frozen Chosen north of the 49th parallel.

Everybody has a different view about the first signs of spring, especially amongst us Frozen Chosen north of the 49th parallel.

Some go strictly by the calendar, so that March 20 (although I swear it was March 21st when I was a kid, but what do I know that’s back when Pluto was still considered a planet, hey I wonder if there’s a connection there) comes along and voila it’s spring.

Yeah, try and tell that to the good people of Edmonton who got hit by a major winter storm on Thursday. Don’t think that felt much like spring.

Even here it could still snow even though spring break is half over for those who get it. Poor darlings (yes, I’m jealous thank you very much).

But some golf courses are already open, a sign for some that spring has sprung, and we’ve been anticipating the season for a few weeks here in Canada’s four-season playground.

For others it’s the birds and wildlife that begin to become more active that signifies the changing of the season, or perhaps the first signs of buds on the trees.

A couple Saturdays ago it was sunny and mild and many people got out into their yards and started raking and pruning and saying hello to neighbours that they might have only briefly seen in passing since last October.

Two days later it snowed again but it was still a telltale sign that spring was on its way, even though I thought it was jumping the gun more than a little bit and I was proven right by the accompanying snowfall. See, being lazy and an accomplished procrastinator does pay off sometimes.

And then there’s the smell of spring as all those things that lay dormant for so many months now begin to give off scents that combine together to form a life-affirming aroma.

I’m sure scientists are busy trying to duplicate that smell in a lab somewhere but I don’t know if it’s possible and that’s a good thing because the scent that puts a spring in our step and new hope in our spirits should remain a natural high.

Heavy sigh.

However none of these things, although all good and fine and worthy of celebrating, are the real sign of spring for yours truly.

Nope, mine is much more practical and mechanical, but nonetheless a great thing and just as worthy of much celebration in these parts.

Yup, the street cleaner came down our cul-de-sac the other day and yes it feels great. Not only that but a power-spraying truck came by several days later and completed the job and I don’t even remember that happening before.

I tried to get the operators’ attention both times but failed, so thanks guys, very much appreciate it.

Especially this year because due to the number of storms and the amount of snow we got, there was literally a ton of sand on our street that had been hanging around cluttering up our lives and not helping our air quality much at the same time.

OK, maybe not literally a ton, after all it’s hard to guesstimate weight with your eyes but I swear you could fill 1,000 turtle-shaped sandboxes with the sand from our little street alone.

And now it’s gone. Completely gone. And I’m grateful that spring has finally arrived.

Now here’s hoping it doesn’t snow.

Glenn Mitchell is the managing editor for The Morning Star