In a nanosecond bipolar shift, the city shed its quilted parka, removed its gloved hands from where they had been shoved deep into pockets of gloom, and walked a little faster, a little taller, shoulders back, face raised to greet the sun.
At casa del Zombie, there were some unmistakable signs that we have turned that corner, finally put the doc martens to winter:
1. The antarctic shoreline that is defining the back lane has melted enough that no longer do we live in fear of getting our tires permanently lodged in an ice rut as we attempt to egress our garages.
2. I wore no gloves while driving and my bare hands did not freeze to the steering wheel.
3. The trampoline kids are out trampolining next door. Could the lawn mower kids on the other side be very far behind?
4. The hoodie that I wore last night as a shirt served as a outer jacket this afternoon.
5. The Slightly Retarded Kitty is giving up nocturnalism in favour of spending the afternoon outdoors.
6. The neighbour across the street has a brand new rake and is poking around at the bare grass on his front lawn. I suspect this is partially to thumb his nose at those of us on the other side of the street whose lawns are still blanketed in two feet of white.
7. My bedroom window remained open all afternoon and nobody complained that they were freezing to death.
It all makes watching the finals of the Men's World Curling Championship feel a trifle surreal. Spring curling does serve to make us wary of the vagaries of weather, reminds us that a sea change can occur in the blink of an eye. We keep an eye to the sky, not just to embrace the warmth of the sun and to avoid looking any longer at the mounds of ice and snow, but to remain on guard. Spring in the prairies keeps us humble.