It seems only fitting for winter to end the day before Good Friday.

I’m not talking about the calendar end. I’m talking about how winter in Quebec — and many other northern places — makes up its own mind about when to call it a season. It always seems to come early and leave late. We were spoiled with an unseasonally warm spell through part of March. But today it is one degree above the freezing mark, with a cold wind. Tomorrow brings us warmer weather for the forecast future, the weather people say.

That’s how I remember it from my youth. There were still patches of snow on the ground when we went to church for Easter Sunday service. But that was the day we didn’t have to wear our winter boots anymore. And after church, it was time to take the bicycles out of storage and go for the season’s first spin. Ah, the sense of freedom on that first ride was wonderful.

I lived in the city back then. Winter relinquished its grip earlier there. It holds on longer in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, where I live now. Still, quite a bit of snow has melted so far; our roofs are clear. But much of the land is still under a hard crust of snow and ice. And the lake surface is still frozen solid.

But the nearby stream that flows from our lake to the marsh at the end of neighbouring Lac Long never freezes, and the ice on the marsh is receding now (as you can see in the picture at top). That’s where the loons and ducks — and perhaps some Canada geese — will hang out soon while they wait for the local lakes to free up and they can go fishing in them.

Everything will come to life quickly now, but we should have about a month’s grace before the black flies and mosquitoes start biting. Which makes this a special time of year for puttering around the property — especially in the buff, as I mentioned in a newsletter post today for The Naturism Community.

Spring traditionally brings with it a sense of renewal for so many of us. And hope, perhaps more so than last spring.

Personally, I think Christians horned in on what was a celebration of spring’s return, as the ancients saw it. Christians did the same with Christmas and the ancient festivals that marked the Winter Solstice. But the overall Christian message of harmony through brotherly love — ideally speaking, of course — is always welcome, even if it piggybacks on key turning points in Mother Nature’s cycles.

So, cheers to spring, Mother Nature, Jesus, brotherly love — and you, dear readers.

Happy Eastertide.

Happy Spring!

— Jillian