It’s March, and here that means snow on the ground, 12 degrees when the sun is down and high 30s by mid-afternoon. I am beginning to remember spring. Not that I ever entirely forgot about its existence, at least not the concept, but now I remember what it feels like. Specifically
• Birds. The way the two-note whistle of the cardinal interrupts whatever you are doing and makes you suddenly look around.
• Puddles. The big ones that block the side walks, forcing you to walk on the muddy banks of the sidewalk.
• Puddles, freezing and melting. The feel of a huge ice block under your feet when it has spent the whole day considering melting, at the top sheet of ice, just barely thick enough to support your weight, slides. How my car leaves frozen tire tracks in the parking lot ice.
• The sun. How it can beam you directly in the eyes, and not just because it’s bouncing off snow. How warm it is. How bright the windows are at certain times of day. Unlike in January, a bright blue sky does not mean it’ll be -20 out anymore.
• The sun, with us longer. It is already bright when I wake at six. I had forgotten that. For days I was confused that I was coming home at 5:15 and it still looked like day out. I thought, “how am I supposed to cocoon myself when it’s still day out?” I’m not out of my cocoon yet.
• 30-degree swing. There will be a point in spring where we wear coats only in the early morning and at night. Where I can tell whether I was last in the car in morning or afternoon based on whether my dial is set to hot or cold air.
We’re not quite to spring yet. The Lion Club’s clunker is still out on the ice, as are many people’s ice houses. We’ll probably get another snow storm or three. But after so much winter, I can remember spring. And that is the first step.
February’s word count comes to 3,286, which is about 13 pages. A low total for the month, but we’re into revision rather than creation now. I deleted about as many pages. A more important measure at this stage is page number: how far have I gotten in the book? The first 20 pages are solid, and the beginning was one of the places that needed work. Twenty pages is about 10% of the novel, I rate, again, that I hope to speed up. Hopefully this month, if I can ever find my way out from under this pile of grading. 100 students is an overwhelming number when you teach writing(or, possibly, ever).