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A Season of Firsts
April 23, 2019
An illustration by artist Amélie Grenier about spring and first times

Of the twelve months of the year, April is the most intense. Probably due to the intensity with which we feel every emotion but also because of the polarity of these emotions. Thirty days where the best and the worst ping-pong back and forth; small victories are triumphs. Deceptions are abysmal, and especially cruel.

Recent studies have shown that for each warm ray of sunshine that appears out of nowhere, ten centimetres of snow will fall, bringing us three months back.

This also the ideal period for our third cold of the season, aka that motherf* * *ing end of winter bullsh * t cold. It’s too early in the year to have forgotten our annual resolution of getting in shape at Nautilus Plus, but too late in the winter not to burst out in nervous and desperate laughter at the mere thought of having to get there.

And when it’s not the cold or the snow, it’s springtime’s secret scourge: dog poop, sticking out everywhere in town. The disappearance of snow reminds us that too many people think they’re committing the supposedly perfect crime by letting their pooch do its business in the snow then covering it with a kick of their boot (while rubbing their hands together in true villain style).

April is here to remind our soles that Toto’s turds don’t melt along everything else.

April urges us to open the “Cancun 2018” album on our phone. April makes us google “hibernation". April hurts.

However, this national pain does serve something. Something that’s right on our doorstep: April is the beginning of hope. This excitement makes us bounce a jittery foot under the table just thinking about it.

Because April also means the first day when we bravely leave our scarf at home. Right away, someone will say “till April’s dead change not a yadda, yadda, yadda”, to which we’ll respond with the hymn of denial that goes a little something like “LA-LA-LA-LA”.

It’s the first day when we spy a blade of grass. Yes, it’s yellow, crumpled up and covered in old scraps of an Ad-Bag that have turned to papier-mâché but it’s there! It’s there, smiling at us and saying that it’s almost over.

The first day when we dare to trade our big snow boots for sneakers, dog doodoo be damned.

And then spring, for real, the one you see in children’s books and Montreal tourism brochures, comes. The first scent from our lady neighbour’s flower bed wafts up in the alley.

Spring is a season of firsts: the first terrace outing with a wind that rubs us the right way. The first festival on a pedestrian street. Winter is already far behind, even if it was still there last week.

Montréal is known for its gorgeous weather when it finally decides to show up. We’re the ones who built this reputation. And we could only do it because of that rollercoaster of springtime emotions, preceded by six months of brutal winter capped off by a month of April with multiple meteorological betrayals. It’s this precise moment of the year that gives true meaning to all the good that’s coming and gives us our famous sense of celebration and gratitude. We’re almost there.

by Simon-Albert Boudreault

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