outside my window, a peaceful snow is falling. tulip buds huddle tight closed against the icy blanket. we had to drag out Oscar’s winter boots again this morning. part of me thinks this is ridiculous – that after a winter this long, this laden with storms, that spring is somehow obliged to hurry up and arrive once Mayday is only a week away.

another part of me – the part that spends all day indoors, on the couch – is more equivocal. meh, says the shut-in, snow, schmoe. i don’t own a chaise lounge. what do i care if it snows all summer?

it will not, i know. but this is Canada. we’re a snow-ridden folk. i remember driving home from college for the summer one year, with my childhood best friend, in a late April snowstorm so bad we had to follow the taillights of the car ahead. the road was whited out, and at one point as we crawled along, inching down the highway, we mulled over the ironies of dying in a snowstorm on summer vacation. oh callous youth, so unfearful, so amused.

i am no longer that girl. my mind still plays the wry ponies of doom, casting narratives, but they do not entertain me any longer. they make my heart leap in my chest, make me swallow dryly. my eyes dart, seek escape. and these visions are with me always, now, no longer novelties of an out-of-season adventure. that restless, invincible, curious self of youth, with summer stretching out before her, all possibility and late night beers to be drunk…she caught the last train out of here a few years back.  i do not think we will see her again in these parts…she was young, and i am not, and will never be again.

instead, i nest inside, internalized, waiting for a summer of waiting. i try not to obsess about the disconnect of the fact that i still do not look or feel terribly pregnant, that my belly has not popped this third time around like it did the second, that i’ve only felt tiny flickers of what might be movement, that i know too many people now who’ve suffered the brutal blow of a heartbeat just…disappearing…and that i live that nightmare every time i let my mind stray near it. in a fit of neurosis this morning, i ordered a Doppler. it arrives Monday. a part of me hates the thing i’ve become, the fretter, the wretched, tied in knots by my steady stream of fears.

but i know well that spring is not really obliged to come, you see…and for some, never does. the summer stretching out wild before you disappears – forever a mirage – once you understand that it is not truly an inevitable promised land, but only a turn of luck that can change in an instant.

of course, three hours after i ordered the Doppler, i felt it, hard under my waistband, the tap and flutter and queer twist of the small life inside. unmistakable this time, insistent. and it kept up for minutes and i lay still and laughed, hand cupped on my belly, tears streaming down my cheeks, watching the snow fall outside my window.