Springtime in Maine always makes a leisurely arrival and this year it’s been especially slow. A-g-o-n-i-z-i-n-g-l-y slow. However, while driving to work this morning, I realized that I’d overlooked some recent signs of spring. In the last few weeks, seemingly overnight sometimes, bright splotches of orange have appeared in the landscape. Not flora nor fauna, but bold orange signs stating “Frost Heave” or the more succinct, often understated, “Bump”. Yes, it’s spring, New England Style.
These signs and the uneven pavement are an indication that something is happening. Perhaps it’s the earth trying to shrug off this last layer of snow, heaving it up along with the asphalt. At any rate, it’s a yearly precursor to spring and a sign that winter is releasing its icy grip on the land, so I’ll take it!
Driving at night, when the orange signs are less visible, the bumps and heaves cast deep shadows, giving wary drivers a bit of forewarning. Savvy local drivers will suddenly, proactively, swerve into the opposite lane to avoid known trouble spots. Those who are unaware or unobservant, are doomed—or at least the undercarriage of their car is. Scratches along the top of especially vicious frost heaves bear mute testimony to previous victims.
With my awareness and my new perspective, I drove home today, erratically changing lanes, my car rising and falling on these erratic washboard hills, smiled and thought, “Ah, spring is coming!”