The sky to the west is an even-tempered gray, with wispy clouds racing eastward toward a muddy sunrise. Like a wet oil painting, pinks and oranges merge with gray, separating the warm morning glow from the twilight's fading monotone. The warmth is winning — slowly, steadily the yellow glow of sunrise, changing gray into gray-blue and then to crisp, pure blue.
The smell is different this morning. The air has lost its dry bite. It's almost a pre-spring scent, not yet as rich as air after a spring rain, but still fresher than the stale winter air.
I walk briskly, not to shorten my exposure to the chill, but to feel the pleasantly cool spring air on my face. I breathe deeply to take in the morning flavor, while my eyes gravitate to the warmth of the sunrise.
Green grass catches my eye, reminding me of the icy crystals that were there just a month ago. The crystals have indeed transformed into green blades of grass and rich, dark soil.
Debris blanketed by the winter snow and ice is now exposed to the world. A piece of battered, gray styrofoam, a flattened, blackened orange peel, a brown flaky leaf. They all await the street cleaner's wet brushes.
At the cafe, the normal bustle persists, just like any winter day, but there is a subtle difference today. Groups of pewter outdoor seating are clustered together, claiming the sidewalk outside my window. Nobody dares to sit in them... no, the air still a bit too cool for this. But they sit and they wait, knowing that inevitably a warm spring day will come and when they will serve their purposes.
The pewter chair community signals the fade of winter. Winter has served its term and has now packed its bags. The door closes behind it, even as spring unpacks and settles in.