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Spring is just around the corner! In years past when I lived in the city, I saw it’s comings in far different ways than I do now living in the country. In the city there were promises of spring with the appearance of robins, the budding of the trees in my yard, the tiny sprouts of green that poked through the dirt of the flower gardens I tended through the summer, and the appearance of cinderblock and boards in parking lots that said GARDEN CENTER.

This year it is different. I live in a state park in the country. There is no yard, though there will be a vegetable garden to work again this year. And the signs of approaching spring are far different here in this country life than I ever experienced in the city.

The lake has gone from an ice-covered steely gray to a watery blue…waves visibly rippling on the surface. The yearly controlled burn has started, lacing the air with smoke wafting over the ground. The groundhogs who have remained hidden all winter have suddenly appeared, fat and sassy, running from hole to culvert and back again. Turkey have joined the pheasant and deer roaming the park, gobbling in the early morning dawn. Farm equipment share the country roads at regular intervals on their way to work the fields in preparation for planting. Pelicans and bald eagles have made their way to the lake to spend a few weeks resting before re-starting their journey to wherever, as they do each year at this time. Great Blue Herons and egrets have started to emerge from the depths of the wetlands. The robins have come too, joining the woodpeckers and nuthatches who continue to pig out at whatever suet feeders the squirrels have allowed to remain hanging. Soon chipmunks will join the fray and the woods will become a beehive of activity.

The woods isn’t the only place, for the campground has started to come alive. People who have been fighting the “itch” are hooking up to their campers and pulling them here even if for overnight. The other returning campground hosts are setting the dates for their summer arrival and the emails between us are full of summer plans rather than questions as to how I have fared the winter here. The shower houses are now open and picnic tables are being picked up and returned to sites after needed repairs. The dirt in my garden area is begging to be worked so it can bear cherry tomatoes for Ma Carol to snitch everytime she comes over.

Though there still may be some winter left, spring is NOT far off!

This country dance towards spring fascinates me as the city dance never did. The sights and sounds and smells have engrained themselves deep in my heart as no other has.

Yet whether you live in the city or the country, different though the returning of spring may be, there is one similarity.

It is a season of renewal… of hope… of promise… of growth…of beginnings…of warmth…no matter where you experience it from.