Walking to the alley with the recycling, trying to beat the Waste Management truck. I do not want to be stuck with a full can for another week. I am greeted by plump tiny green leaves, peeking out from the dull dry husks of leaves. Eyes squinted against the sun! Spring is slowly starting its march across my backyard. I love living in a place that has four seasons. The midwest is especially wonderful. I know some people balk at bitter cold winters, blasting spring thunderstorms , blistering hot summers, and blustery autumn winds, but I couldn’t love every bit of it more. Today, the change between seasons is especially poignant. After a long hard winter, heck after yesterday’s freezing rain, this day bursts open with clear bright, staccato notes blowing away the signs of winter. I stood in my backyard staring at the bare rose bushes, accumulated dead oak leaves, my sad garden gnome in woefully inadequate clothing and mom’s weathered porch swing smiling quietly to myself. The grass is still brown. The flower buds are dormant. But the sky is robin’s egg blue and soon the air will be filled with the tweets and chirps of the returning birds. Spring has come. To steal from John Muir, the backyard is calling and I must go…..