Is it me or does the honeysuckle smell sweeter this spring? I swear my nose can pick it up from 20 yards away these days. I catch its scent when I’m running on the greenway, just as I did in my French Quarter neighborhood, wafting over spiked brick walls, or in backyards of the Long Island suburbs, playing ringolevio in the dusk before the streetlights came on and we all had to go home for dinner.

And have you noticed that the weather this spring is making a spectacular, graduated crescendo into summer? Instead of exploding from 65 degrees straight into the 90s, we’re taking baby steps up to the high heat, interrupted with rainstorms both delightful and terrible but always welcome.

Have we ever had such a glorious spring in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad? Maybe not….

Maybe not.

Spring is an awakening. Spring is a rebirth. Spring is a reconnect. Spring is morning dew and green shoots, new clothes and long days.

Do any of us even remember last spring? When the pandemic slowly but inexorably blotted out everything else, when everything was closed and we spent our days at home and our nights at home, yearning for escape and eventually coming to realize that there was nowhere to run?

It was hot last year. Wasn’t it hot last year?

And can we even call what happened then a proper spring?

It’s different this year and even the birds in my yard know it. What kind of birds are those? Wrens? Warblers? Some kind of sparrow? Small and tough, they’ve multiplied in the pandemic, built more nests around the backyard and chased the crows into the high trees by the creek. They’ve bullied my cats into the underbrush and freely hop around the back lawn, getting fat on the worms that also seem to proliferate.

More birds, more worms, more ants, more flies, which means more spiders, more lizards and then back up the food chain. Everybody’s hungry; everybody eats.

Yeah. It’s springtime again. At long last.

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