Guess who's back?

There are many ways the winter-weary measure the arrival of spring. Some people happily welcome the season’s first robin; others eagerly await baseball’s opening day. For the past month, I’ve been monitoring our shrinking backyard snow piles, so the momentous milestone in the photo above isn’t the robin but the bare grass.

Shoes, not boots

The main method I use to chart the arrival of spring, however, is much more down to earth: specifically, what sort of footwear I use to step on said earth. March 25 was the first day this year I dared to wear shoes rather than boots, an occasion so momentous I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of my almost-bare ankles. Only someone who has spent the past three months clomping around in boots can understand the sheer joy that comes from slipping into a pair of flats: shoes only a step or two removed from slippers. In flats, I feel lightweight and unencumbered: someone who twirls on twinkle-toes rather than trudging in clod stompers. Forget about any other signs of spring: your feet will tell you when winter is truly over.

Rite of spring

Perhaps, then, you can understand why I spent much of March poring over Zappos, trying to choose a new pair of sandals for the season. Technically, I don’t need a new pair of sandals: last year’s Keen “Rose” sandals still have plenty of life in them, as do the Crocs “Kadee” flats I wear as indoor slippers. But when you’re tired of zipping up dress boots and pulling on Wellies, the thought of a new pair of sandals is enough to keep you trudging forward through the snow piles. It almost doesn’t matter which pair you choose as long as you can close your eyes and imagine yourself sunning your toes in them, someday.