The autumn term (as they called the first semester of the school year back in England) started bronzed and enthusiastic in September, and ended tinseled and over-excited at Christmas, passing through conkers (put them in vinegar and they get hard), bonfire night (sparklers and disappointing back garden displays), before sliding into evenings that closed in tightly, when the best joy was the reflections of red lights in gritty puddles.
Then in January came what was cruelly called the spring term, with its frosty mornings that smelled malty like the sugar beet factory, with evil black ice and endless grey and grey.
Easter would arrive (when it felt like it), ready for the summer term – that glorious mix of outdoors and exams, hay-fever and revision. Classroom windows would open and minds would wander. Half school, half screw-it.
And so life would go on, from short trousers and recorders, to football boots with their grazing studs, to spots and bad hair and new cassettes from the record shop with their delicious, fresh plastickyness.
The wheel turned and we were taking a ride.
As April slides to May here in Canada, brown is sneakily shading green, clover is sprouting its three leaves and the sun glows warm if you sit in a patch of it.
I’ve noticed spring more this year. With us at home, fretting and stressing, the world keeps spinning.
All this gives me some kind of comfort. Human life might be upside down, but nature doesn’t give a damn. It just carries on doing its thing.
I guess that’s how it should be.