The dashboard says 57 and the sun is streaming through the windows, so I am lulled into believing spring is here. It is midday and in an act of bravado, or stupidity, I leave my winter jacket in the car and head out for a hike to the lake. The wind is cold through my faded denim shirt, and my pace quickens. In the mud beneath my footsteps are those of ones who’ve recently gone before — dogs, deer, horses and racoons. I always love to see the variety of animals who trod this same path as I. I marvel at how much racoon prints look like miniature human handprints.

My heart races as I turn the bend leading to the lake. Will my pelicans be here yet, or is it too early in the season? I step through mud and snow on my way, catching myself from sliding or falling down the steep slope. Alas, no flashes of white, but I am in awe of the deep shades of turquoise that greet me. Ducks of many kinds ride the waves of the snow-melt lake, basking in the brilliant sunshine that diamonds the surface. The wind ushers me on, reminding me that it is not yet quite spring. Although it is Spring Break.

a spring in my step
but not in the air
spring has not quite sprung