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I was lazing with a cup of coffee yesterday when I heard the sounds of Spring. Not birdsong, not even the laughter of children playing outdoors. No, for me, the first sounds of spring come from the two-stroke engines of lawn mowers.
That gentle (and not so gentle) buzzing off in the distance says Spring and Summer more than anything. Like beasts awakening from hibernation, the cough and roar of mowers announce that Winter is over.
Like the sounds of giant hummingbirds, there is the buzzing of weed whackers. The revving of leaf blowers are like the mating calls of strange creatures in the distance. But these are creatures that sleep through the rain and ice of winter -- to hear them again is to know the seasons are changing.
The rumble of yard debris cans on their cheap wheels can be heard as people emerge from their houses and I see my neighbors for the first time in months. We may just have a brief, loud, chat as we yell to each other across the street, but it's more interaction than we get in the winter, with the quick wave as we run to our cars in the freezing rain. People from literally blocks away are suddenly strolling through the neighborhood.
The wafting of flowers coming into bloom isn't what makes people inhale and say, "Ah, Spring..." No, it's the smell of freshly cut grass mixed with exhaust and gasoline. We don't really even think about the fact that the smell of fresh cut grass isn't even a natural smell -- our ancestors didn't wake to the smell of freshly mown fields. If they were mown, the smell of herbivore dung would have been the prevailing smell.
Spring is really much more than a lengthening of the days. It's primal to our nature knowing the days of plentiful food are on the horizon -- maybe not days of berry picking and hunting antelope, but rather hot dogs and beer, but days where we can loll in the sunshine and enjoy being warm and dry for awhile.
All with comfort of the buzz and roar of other people doing yard work in the distance.