Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Songbird in a Snowstorm

I don't know whether to call them drops or flakes. Incredibly cold, massive raindrops or incredibly wet, penetrating snowflakes... Whatever they are, they sting like the dickens -- chilling me to the bone. And I resent them on my pre-dawn bicycle trek through the icy corridors of central Amsterdam.

The city has come a long way since the darkest days of winter. The hours of graylight have been methodically stretching and strenghtening from day to day, like an old man recovering from hip surgery. The stubby green fingers of crocuses and daffodils are slowly clawing their way out from the flower boxes in the neighborhood. Even the tenuous strains of pioneering songbirds have been heard in the pre-dawn stillness of recent weeks. Spring is coming. Spring is coming...

Of course, you wouldn't know it -- judging from the crust of wintry precipation on my jacket, the numbed digits of my soaked extremities, the storm of white, wet locusts showering down through the orbs of amber-colored streetlights... But spring is coming.

I'm reminded by the unlikely voice of a trusted friend: a songbird who shouts for the joy of what is to come, instead of our present reality. Even in the midst of a snowstorm, in the sub-freezing chill of a February morning, the songbird instinctively reiterates his message of hope. And I smile at the reminder.

Spring is coming.


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