In the week since I last posted, we have experienced temperatures ranging from the high twenties to the mid-seventies. Today, temps may reach eighty. Spring in northern Illinois is usually brief and not always beautiful, but this is one of the briefest and ugliest I’ve seen. Excessively dry, the ground has stingily offered wan blooms and pale grass. As if incredibly perplexed, the trees and bushes have budded with what can only be described as reluctance. It is 10 a.m. on May 1, and the thermometer in the shade already reads 71 degrees. If I am accorded an average life expectancy, I will see two dozen or so more springs. Is it wrong to wish that they were lush, flower-filled seasons colored daily by butter-yellow sunshine and clear, blue skies and fueled nightly by cool, gentle rains?
Regardless of spring’s length or appearance in any given year, it’s arrival coincides with the arrival of birthday gift cards from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and books make everything better. My haul this year is pictured above.