Well, another hour of daylight means winter is on its last leg. Here in beautiful Victoria the signs of spring come on early and come on strong. The towering B.C. cedars are growing greener by the minute and the cherry blossoms (one of my favourite things on the planet) are bursting open with the white and pale pink hues that herald the arrival of happiness. Victoria has more cherry trees than I ever imagined possible, a lovely bonus of the decision to settle here.

Normally, I’d have a mess of pictures for you, however, I’ve only seen the blossoming beauties them from my car on the way from my apartment to the drug store. My recent work trip took me to the heart of the polar vortex. I took a total of five flights and on the last one about half the passengers appeared to be suffering from some sort of wintery plague. So it’s not surprising that a few days after touching down I was struck down with a fever, sore throat, and a tidal wave of mucus unlike any my poor head and chest have ever seen. It began as an amusing mental challenge: me versus the virus with the odds of victory stacked heavily in my favour. I mean how bad could it be I thought as I forged ahead into battle.

Four days later, as I lay on the floor in a fetal position in sweat soaked pyjamas, nose rubbed raw, surrounded by empty NyQuil boxes and a mountain of crusty tissues, I conceded defeat. It’s absolutely incredible just how much phlegm one human head can produce. I was no match for that beast. At one point I was moaning and groaning and whining and whimpering so much I thought oh wonderful, not only am I dying, I’m turning into a man.

I couldn’t leave my den of decongestants and DM cough syrup for fear of contaminating the masses, so I worked from home. Sick people: for the love of god stay home from work. Trust me, the world does not end. And I lived from bed to couch for five days. The massive quarantine that went on in this apartment was epic. If he goes down, we all go down, we’d simply starve to death, so efforts to isolate Neil from harm were in full force. Now that I’m finally emerging from the cold medication haze, I can see clearly how hard it must be to cope with a sick giraffe hacking and snotting all over the place. It’s a miracle I survived the cold, even more miraculous that he didn’t check into the motel down the block.

I’m still suffering from the effects of the head cold from hell but spring is calling and I don’t want to miss a moment of it. I’m going back into the world to witness the rebirth first hand. If there’s neither leaf nor petal to be seen where you are, fear not. All things must end and spring is on its way wherever you may be.

I love this time of year. For some reason it makes me feel relentlessly and ridiculously optimistic. I was watching women all around the world, in places like Yemen and Saudi Arabia, march in the streets against violence on International Women’s Day, and between that and the rising temperatures and cherry blossoms, well, maybe it’s like that lovely quote from one of my favourite books, The God of Small Things, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” Now if only I could breathe without a bucket of DayQuil anything would be possible.

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