First it snowed. The next day it was warm and breezy and we played outside in the sunshine on the swings. The day after that it snowed again. Today it’s raining.

That has been April so far. Spring so far. One step forward; two steps back.

My heart has been doing an identical dance because inside I’ve felt a kind of winter for a little too long. And while I sense I might be in the last gray days, they haven’t all felt like a forward march.

I’ve sometimes thought of spring as a coy, young thing. She’s a little shy, coming ever closer down the path but darting behind every tree as she draws near, peeking out, only one eye showing.

Or as a tease in a game of hide and seek. While I stand quiet in the woods attentive to every rustle of leaves underneath her feet, she moves from hiding place to hiding place. At first the game is thrilling as the giggles ring off of everything, but in time it turns wearisome and I find myself sighing and then muttering, “Enough already.”

Or as someone indecisive or even capricious. One day she’s this and the next day she’s that and the day after that she’ll be something else entirely.

Maybe that thinking originates in the pastels and petals, the scents that flit by with the breeze, the sudden storm that’s just as suddenly gone, and the gangly and helpless new creatures. All these signs of new life feel so delicate and ephemeral.

But I’m starting to think spring is a soldier.

The garden and the grass arm themselves with sharpened spears to pry open the hardened ground. The delicate flower must first burst open the branch with a bud. And marshaling heat enough to chase away the months of cold is a terrible feat. Spring comes in bits and pieces because she’s only just beginning to break through enemy lines. Some days she’s beaten back, and some days she takes ground. She soldiers on.

As I anticipate the coming of a kind of spring in my own heart… I might need to fight.