Dan Rattiner's Stories

Spring Springs Just in Time: It Took a While, But the Season Is Finally Here

This year, the change from winter to spring was unlike anything I have ever experienced.

I love the changing of the seasons here. In winter, the birds go south and certain creatures hibernate. No bugs live through the winter. The trees are bare and forlorn. Soon, though, spring will come—the great awakening.

But this year, the change from winter to spring was unlike anything I have ever experienced. During March, there were storms and it rained almost every day. The skies were gloomy and cloudy, but then there was one day that temperatures got up to 60. The next day it turned cold again. Nothing stirred in March.

During the first week of April, the wind howled and the rain came down sideways and still nothing stirred. Nothing stirred even at the end of the month. Mother Nature was trying to determine the proper time to pull the trigger, but she didn’t in April. No leaves appeared on the trees. It was the strangest thing. And we had still more rain, twice so hard we had floods.

I did notice during the first week of May that a few buds appeared on the trees here and there, sort of waking up and peeping to see if this was the time. But then, there was this one day when the temperatures dropped down almost into the 30s. I thought, here in May, it might snow! And all the budding stopped. I wondered what our landscapers were thinking about all this. There is a shortage of workers all through the Hamptons. You’d see Help Wanted signs everywhere. And now even Mother Nature didn’t seem to know what to do.

As I write this, though, it’s just past Memorial Day weekend, when things are supposed to be lush and green and, guess what, they are. I think it happened in the third week in May. The temperatures at midday rose into the 70s and stayed there till sundown. This was the real thing. The trigger was pulled, but now it was a rush job.

During that third week in May, I thought out in my backyard that I could hear the leaves and flowers moving out. I stood quietly. Did I hear a crumpling sound like that paper makes when you crush it in your hand?

The bugs were buzzing out. The carpenter bees were hovering out on the deck, the birds were chirping. The winds whispered. I had awakened on the Thursday just before Memorial Day weekend, looked out the window and saw the lush greenery, all the different shades of it from yellow to black, hanging heavy on the trees and shrubbery.

And so the summer people arrived, and everything was just in its place, just in time, just like it is every spring. But a really close call.

Did I just hear one final flower burst open with a pop?

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