Could we have some more spring, please?

I never understood March proverbs. The local one (“March – we’ll crawl behind the stove”) didn’t make sense to me even in childhood. (If you’re cold in March, why haven’t you been behind a stove throughout the winter in the first place?) Much later I read in a booklet on Scottish proverbs that “March comes wi’ adders’ heads and gangs wi’ peacocks’ tails” is much preferable to its English counterpart, “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb“, which latter explains as meaning “The month of March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and pleasant.” Frankly, the association between peacocks and Scotland is as obscure to me as that between cold weather and lions.

Anyway, they seem to apply no longer. Just as about two decades ago I began noticing that what I understood as autumnal weather usually only lasted for about a week between summer and winter, in the last years it seems like spring, too, has all but disappeared and winter is followed almost immediately by summer. Walking to work after 5 a.m. this morning, there was the pleasant smell in the air that says that winter is finally over – but somehow it didn’t smell exactly springy. A fortnight hasn’t passed since frosty nights, yet the forecast for this Thursday shows a maximum of 18C. And I remember how last year the change from “not a leaf to be seen” to “not a bare branch to be seen” took only a few days.

I don’t complain about the seeming end of winter, but I do prefer things like this to be happening more gradually. Both winter and summer have their good aspects, but I always enjoyed the transitory periods the best. Winter and summer feel like status quo; spring and autumn feel like flux. And flux feels closer to life than status quo.

However, I had a look at the BBC forecast for Perth and they say 9 above on Thursday. Possibly the season still exists in Britain.


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