It’s afternoon, and the lushness of the season makes itself known with warm skies and cool air. It’s sunroof weather, so I drive around a little more than usual, with the windows down and the subwoofer buzzing, the wind blowing what’s left of my hair into a fright wig.

I made my first pass over my lawn this weekend, a full workup on the day before Easter, when people would be in the yard. I took both the grass and the weeds down to fairway level, tightened up the edges and cleaned the shrubbery before laying down a new bed of black mulch. I felt the land, still saturated from the thaw, give like cork beneath my boots. When it was done I wore the scent of dirt and sweat and fresh air and clean-cut grass. I tucked sunflower seeds into open spaces in the beds, laying in a nice surprise for the early summer.

Outside my house this morning the cool air felt bracing instead of restrictive; I felt it when I pretended to take out the garbage and surreptitiously took in my first cigarette of the day, there in my driveway under the warming sun.

Here at the office, my glance keeps stealing to the window, noticing how the light lays against the steel mill outside and the pale blue sky that hangs beyond it, today like gauze, tomorrow like a blazing blue, hard gray the day after when a rain rolls in.

I can smell April in the air — an organic, swampy aroma redolent of low tide in the marsh. I can see it in the sky and its quickly shifting palette that by May will settle into a deep and abiding blue. I can sense it in my bones when I drive around with the windows down and the stereo blaring like an old fool, and feel nothing of the sort. The big winter sleep is over; green shoots are everywhere.

It’s finally spring, and I’m done for the day. There’s plenty of daylight left, and I’m going to take the long way home.

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