How I Know It's SPRING
Reader's Digest US|April 2020
How I Know It's SPRING
It’s not the calendar that alerts me. In my small town, the telltale signs are the ones that melt my heart.
Philip Gulley
Every year, I circle the vernal equinox on our refrigerator calendar so the first day of spring won’t slip by unnoticed. I’m not sure why I depend upon the calendar to announce spring’s arrival, since it has so little bearing on the matter. Spring comes when it’s good and ready; sometimes well before its appointed day, sometimes well after.

For years, spring in our town was heralded by Leon and Jo Martin, who owned the Dairy Queen. Every year, after their winter sojourn to Florida, they would post the words “Now Hiring” on their sign. I would walk past, see the sign, see Leon and Jo readying for their spring opening, and feel winter’s icy veil lift from around me. It was as accurate an indication of spring as any calendar, and when they died and their children sold the Dairy Queen to an out-of-town outfit who kept it open year-round, it threw off our town’s circadian rhythms something terrible. We’re still not sure when spring begins.


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April 2020