It’s the breeze that first tells you that today you won’t freeze. It caresses soft whispers into your ear. No longer does it bite your chin when you walk away, nor crawl under your clothes to thief away your warmth.
Suddenly your steps are lighter, quicker. The ends of your lips curl infinitesimally upwards. Deep within your eyes, hope flares to life.
Already the memories of past discomfort are fading. Of frozen toes and red-tipped noses. Of chunks of frozen hair lost with a careless gesture. Of hands permanently stuck in coat pockets, and shoulders hunched forward, defensively, resignedly.
Already you envision your winter coat hung up in the closet. Your thick socks rolled up at the back of the drawer. Your woolen sweaters guarded by mothballs.
You look up as the sound of a small bird’s chirp prods your soul. The tree’s branches are still bare, but that will change soon. Though the bird blends in well, your eager eye is quick to spot it. You reluctantly move on, aware that, should you linger too long, your boss will not be pleased. Alas, not everyone is cheered by the lively hints of spring.
You stare wistfully at the deceptive, blue sky.
A particularly strong gust of wind sneaks down the back of your coat. You shiver.
Soon the wind croons.
Soon. Not quite yet, but soon.