In advance of Groundhog Day, coming up this weekend, I already have good news. At any rate, it's better news than a cloudy day in Punxsutawney. That traditional sign of spring makes no sense to me anyway. Pennsylvania is going to have six more weeks of winter no matter how many shadows fall on it Sunday.
Spring, I'm now convinced, will arrive. I can't be sure when, but I can report that the robins are back. They don't spend the winter around here, so I know they believe in the inevitability of spring. They've been in my yard twice this week, so far. And I haven't even been paying attention, so it could be more. It's comforting to have them on my side.
Another thing I haven't paid attention to is the garden. Uff. It's still green, but that's about the best thing I can say about it. All the places where the weeds and grasses grow have gone wild again. It's growing up between the paving stones and overwhelming the birdbaths. What I said wasn't going to happen is happening. It's getting out of control.
The gopher is back, too. Little mounds of dirt are likely to turn up almost anywhere. I've pretty much come to terms with that pest, though. I know I can't stop it, so I just let it be. I'll smash down the piles in areas where people walk, but I won't try to flood out the holes, the way I did my first year here. That was a useless exercise.
Unfortunately, it's still winter, no matter how determined I am to be hopeful. It hasn't rained for a week, but there's still mud in the driveway. I still have to wipe off my new Saturn every time I get home from running errands. And more rain is coming, if not this weekend as predicted then some time before April.
But I don't care. The signs are everywhere, if only you know how to look for them (or at least how to shade your interpretation of them the right way).