Of course, as Kit says, spring is a process of arrival; when the growing season has arrived, that's called "summer." But for a while, now, the weather has been noticeably warmer and the days are longer. The campus was still covered in snow and ice, but it's like it was covered more lightly. For weeks now, we've been having partial melting and rain followed by another freeze or another snowstorm.
This week, I think we've turned a corner. The most recent melt brought us all the way down to bare grass in places. The birds are singing, not just calling and twittering. I haven't noticed any sprouting yet, but the red maple flowers can't be too far away.
This morning, of course, it snowed, but it was a soft, wet snow, pretty, but starting to melt almost immediately. Just before lunch it rained for about half an hour, and now we have four inches of slush on the ground. It's not even that cold out, close to forty degrees--feels pretty balmy, compared to winter. The wet slush out on the side of the road looks like piles of pureed pear.
After lunch I was walking across campus with Andy--he was going to a workshop, but I hadn't decided whether I wanted to attend or not. I was interested, but feeling kind of lazy as well. And then I was hit by a slushball.
It was Joanna.
I never know how to deal with her. I think we're friends, because we hang out sometimes, but really she spends a lot of our interactions laughing at me. I like her, basically, but I don't know. Maybe I should tease her back, laugh at her for a change?
I hit her with a slushball.
She shrieked and giggled.
"Oh, you're going to get it now!" she vowed, as if she hadn't started it, and started pelting me with shush. She ended up jumping on my back and stuffing slush down the back of my shirt and into the hood of my cloak. I couldn't get her off of my back, so I tried looking for something snowy I could run her into.
"Back into the pine trees!" shouted Andy, laughing. He meant the blue spruces by the Mansion. I think they must be former Christmas trees from decades ago.
"I can't, they're all pointy," I said, and Joanna laughed.
"Will you get off my back?" I said, and tripped and fell over. Joanna tumbled off me and we both sat in the slush for a bit, laughing. Her nose was red and running a little. "Now my butt's all wet," I complained.
"So's mine," she replied. "You know you're problem, Daniel? You're too much of a gentleman. It makes you easy to pick on."
"I think it's good to be a gentleman," Andy said, quietly.
"And that's why I don't throw snowballs at you," Joanna told him.
"What am I supposed to do with that?" I protested. "Is this fair? Does this make sense? Do you see what I have to deal with?" I'm not sure who I though I was talking to.
"I wouldn't hit Andy because he's too sweet," Joanna explained. "But you are a different kind of sweet, so that's why I pick on you."
I went inside and changed into my summer weight uniform, hung my wet clothes up to dry, and