Perhaps it is because I'm a gardener that it seems I can feel the seasons, almost from my feet to the top of my head.
Now, at the beginning of March, there's almost a low thrum in the air as the days grow longer. Birds are returning - redwing blackbirds have been spotted and our resident redtail hawk just flew overhead. I think it's a juvenile male as the breast feathers are very white and he's a little on the small side. For a redtail, that is. The squirrels are chasing each other in that seductive squirrel way and the bunnies might be doing the bunny hop, but I haven't spotted them yet. I'm sure they are waiting for a nice romantic moonlit night. The rabbits have left me plenty of fertilizer. It's not just the excellent soil that causes everything here to get bigger, I swear the secret is well-aged bunny poo, too.
A stroll around the garden, and I can almost feel the twigs vibrating under my fingers. Buds are swelling, elongating, and some beginning to crack. Yesterday, the elm tree at work seemed to be dotted with thousands of chocolate chips - big fat juicy buds! The forsythia is practically hopping up and down in excitement, but my witchhazel is being stubborn. The ones at The Morton Arboretum have already cracked, but mine isn't budging. No sir. It doesn't care that the daffodils at its feet have poked inquisitive heads up about an inch. My arborist friend tells me the silver maples are running with sap already, and we know the boxwood is raring to go.
Yes, it's cold. Yes, we'll probably get some more snow, but it will melt quickly and be a memory. The soil crunches in the morning, but it means I can go out and cut down my raggedy grasses without worrying about compaction.
Underneath that crusty surface, can't you just feel the earth tremble?