Fresh air through open windows, like a crate of air-shipped grapefruits, has arrived to tantalize me with sensory suggestions of other times and places...places besides Brooklyn in January. It's about 60 degrees out there, and while I have a few bulbs left to plant, I've been actually afraid to go out in the garden, for fear of some permanent derangement that would result in my rolling in just-thawed mud like a retriever. (I am reminded of an English eccentric--surely one of the Sitwells--who had to be blindfolded while driving through particularly exquisite scenery, so as not to overexcite his delicate nervous temperament.)
But more than the feel of a temperate breeze, it's the acoustics of flung-open windows that make me ache with yearning for summer. Along with a respite from banging pipes and hissing radiators, today has been a reminder of how muffled and isolated we become as we hunker down under winter skies. I hear the voices of children hooting at dismissal from the school across the street...sirens passing...starlings whooping it up. The world flows in and out of consciousness on this vivid soundtrack, inviting me to come outside (or at least stick my head out).
Slamming our big old windows shut will hurt after today. After this "foretaste of Spring," there are, gee, only 8 more months of winter, right? I mean, at least 7 weeks of March, at least...
Image: Edward Gorey, The Disrespectful Summons