Buds on trees. Flowers sprouting. A wholesome breeze, as best we can tell, from the hygienic confines of our shuttered apartment windows. Stopping to smell the roses, vicariously, of course, through vaccinated citizens injected with the moxie to remove masks and breathe in the rouge amid all the seasonal superspreader joy. Ahh, spring.

The snow has melted. The sun is shining. Everything is awash in the glory of dawn. We’re going to have to change out of the sweatpants we’ve been wearing as both pajamas and office slacks for months, aren’t we? Our decaying sweaters and threadbare slippers, which we’ve been comfortable to pass off as pandemic shrapnel. Our wool socks and musty cardigans replete with cream cheese and merlot stains for which no one judged us during the bleak winter months, but now mark us as failures of contemporary armageddon. Majestic, glorious spring.

Morning dew. Fresh blossoms. Bodega hoses trickling over sidewalks. Everything wet and clean and wholesome. We probably should think about a traditional bathing routine again. Splashing water from the kitchen faucet into funky nooks in the seconds before Netflix auto-plays the next episode may have provided efficiency during the winter doldrums. But actual sunlight heralds brunch and a new set of social protocols. Do they still sell deodorant in stores? Spring, oh fickle beauty, welcome.

The contours of the season. Sunrise over the horizon. Treelines. Cloud lines. Lines of birds in flight. Lines outside Trader Joe’s even earlier than a week ago, hungry shoppers using the extra daylight to impossibly extend the lines even further. Lines to get tested for the virus. Lines to await the next lottery inoculation. Here a line, there a line, everywhere a — did that elderly couple just cut this line? What is this line even for? Linear, patient springtime.

Butterflies and ladybugs. Honey bees and mosquitoes. Spiders and ants and beetles and lice. All critters foraging, procreating, living, murdering each other, but mostly ruining happy hour because how can we possibly know whether they are resting or attempting defecation near us? If we can produce a vaccine to eradicate a pandemic in one year, certainly something can be done about all these bugs to preserve happy hour. Creeping, genocidal wonder.

Fellow citizens taking to the outdoors again, enjoying the fresh air and camaraderie. Walking. Jogging. Employing peripheral vision to dodge the scooters and mopeds and hovercraft. From bicycle to skateboard, every mode of transportation has undergone a winter metamorphosis, arriving to the new season in motorized splendor. Whirring and sputtering and threatening to concuss mirthful strollers adrift in thought who fail to keep heads on a swivel. Exciting, dystopian spring.

The birds are magnificent as they forage maniacally for morning sustenance. Baby ducks. Baby gulls. Baby woodpeckers. Baby warblers. Baby new species that did not territorialize the park benches last spring with those aggressive stares. All a flight at once, the sky speckled with their wretched persistence, chirping and hooting and cawing. Were there always this many birds? Have we established that feathers cannot harbor the virus? Is there a city ordinance, perhaps similar to leash laws, that might curtail the flight patterns of these grandiose creatures? Glorious, melodic wonder.

The scents of the equinox. Freshly mowed grass. Trees exuding their rapturous whiff. Flower petals emitting nectar. Street sweepers swirling it all into a fastidious muck. Greetings, itchy, watery eyes. Nice to see you again, hives. Good day, post-nasal drip; it would not be the budding season without you. The sneeze into a mask, more of an ominous “kerplerfitch” than a simple “achoo” beneath the fabric, pollen and spittle and angst politely exploding and staying put on nose and lips and dimples. The circle of life, welcome back.