Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Case in point: April in Prineville. When the snow begins to fall, thick and silent, though just yesterday we were playing tennis, the heart does feel sick. How could it snow in April? How dare the weather sin against us so? Each year, hope wells up in that those first warm days really are the whispers of spring. But no, they are false hopes, unrequited love, traitorous friends, and disappointed dreams.

Winter — that unwelcome guest — imposes itself on us for another month. We continue stoking the hearth, making thick and hearty soups, baking bread, and bundling in our winter wraps.

Or … Summer barges in early, not yet invited. In vain, we look for the mellow sunshine, the balmy showers, the blooms of new growth. Though the daffodils nod their pretty heads and the crocuses push through the white crust, spring still has not come.

But in May, Prineville adorns herself with a green dress of fields freshly budding and dances and shouts that Spring has arrived. The Nighthawks feed over the fields at dusk. The Cedar Waxwings make their debut. The Redwing Blackbirds have long been decrying the winter conditions in the cattails. The mountain bluebird flashes through the trees and the swallows dart over the canals.

Sprinklers work nonstop over the would-be desert fields. Trucks, loaded with hay and alfalfa, impede progress into town. Road construction begins in earnest.  We warily watch Black Butte shed her snow so we can plant our garden. Finally, the weather walks in step with the calendar. Spring has finally come.

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