For three days last week, my neighborhood was transformed into a ghost’s playground that the fog brought in, along with the spring that. The fog settled in, but everything else became unsettled. The distant train whistle that is so comforting to me at night began sounding more like a steam engine’s whistle from days gone by. Visitors began arriving on horse and buggy. Clip-clop, clip-clop, the hooves slowed down just around the corner, but when I came around the bushes, the voices of the visitors suddenly stopped. A trip from downtown Columbus would have been a day’s trip back then. Perhaps they had come to help on a family farm that an aunt and uncle still owned. Perhaps they wondered what farm I was from, and why I was walking a dog on a leash out in the country. After three days, I felt like a ghost myself, wondering if I somehow missed spring and was sentenced to the eternal dampness of melting snow in this ghost yard that I used to be my neighborhood.
Finally, on Wednesday, the fog lifted and took its ghosts with it. Slowly, slowly, things became clearer and the sun appeared. Where the snow had been just a few days ago, items that had been left behind before winter appeared, like ghosts themselves, whispering the song of spring. A maroon glove in the driveway that had fallen from a purse waits to be reunited with its owner. A blue hat left on a stone wall as someone rested while walking their dog on a full moon night reappears.
As I began writing this post, there are a just a few piles of dirty snow left, mostly found in parking lots, looking ragged and limp like an unwanted doll that’s been abandoned by a child, forgotten in the toy box, barely recognizable. I try not to acknowledge these ugly reminders of the cold, wishing them gone so we can put the 2015 winter to bed and get on with spring.