My year in the Yukon taught me what cabin fever was. It's that first hint of spring that strikes, that first time you realize there's an end to the barren isolation that exemplifies the Canadian winter.
People got twitchy. Their hesitant smiles gave way to quirky, youthful grins. Humour and giddiness punctuated nearly every conversation. And the days, of course, would grow sickeningly, tauntingly long. I say that because when it's light at 8pm by about mid-March, you expect to get a little more out of it than just strange sleep hours.
So spring struck slow, but hard. Down here, though, I always expect it to start being obvious by March 1st. Well, now it's February and my itch needs a little scratching.
Today, I went out to grab some Chinese food at lunch, and was struck by how absolutely spring-like it felt. I didn't last long, but at least there was a "moment." However, when those nasty bastard clouds roll in over the North Shore mountains, it's easy to lose your grasp on the moment that was.
Us Vancouver lifers believe spring starts here on February 21st. Compared to most American cities, that's a laugh. Compared to the rest of Canada, though, we're the ones doing the laughing.
And I know patience is my greatest weakness, but I'm dying for this summer to come. I don't know why that is. My twitch usually kicks in a little later than this. Maybe it has to do with landing on my head and getting a "Do Not Pass Go" for the month of September this past fall. Thanks to that notorious head injury, I don't remember whether it was sunny or not. I just remember feeling a little ripped off, and way too current on daytime TV.
I'm good to go now. I just ain't got no more wait in me. I love this city in the spring: streets lined with Asiatic cherry blossoms, the newly verdant North Shore trees, the bustling seawall.
Until then, it's that time of year when everyone walks a little too quickly to get to places they'd rather not arrive at, heads down, searching the pavement as if trying to find something they don't even know they've lost.
This city excels in duality like no other. When it's cloudy and rainy, we're all a little morose, a lot lacking. When it ain't, we're everything you could want to be, and there ain't no better place.
And that's where I'm wanting to be.