Flowering magnolia

Once spring decides to arrive in New England, it often does so in a dramatic fashion. Yesterday afternoon was warm and sunny, and today is even lovelier, with temperatures in the 70s and plenty of sun. Yesterday was Opening Day at Fenway Park, and at home we celebrated the occasion by opening our bedroom windows for the first time this year, thereby giving our indoor cats their first sniff of fresh air in months. It’s an annual ritual that’s felt long overdue.

Magnolia blossoms

Every spring always features a welcome series of firsts. Yesterday was the first time I wore sandals and capris, for instance, and today is the first time I wore flats rather than knee-high boots to campus. It’s funny how a simple change in shoes is enough to buoy your spirits: after spending months lumbering around in boots and a bulky coat, my body feels significantly lighter and more energetic in sandals and shirtsleeves.

Fuzzy flowers

The landscape itself seems lighter and more joyful, a proverbial spring in its step. At Framingham State, the magnolia behind Hemenway Hall is blooming, along with pussy willows and another kind of fuzzy-flowered tree. After waiting so long for spring to finally arrive, it seem we’ve reached the proverbial tipping point, with flowers blooming and students peeling off winter layers. It’s a welcome relief to see flowers, tree buds, and winter-pale skin after so many months of ice, snow, and thick layers of clothing. Once spring finally arrives, you can’t imagine how you ever survived so long without it.