Resounding from beneath the chill of early dawn, temperatures still too cold for forgetting the parka and news of perhaps yet another storm on the way next week came the familiar sound of the red wing blackbird.
As always, infinitely punctual, appearing like clockwork to the Cape in mid or late February to begin its yearly courtship.
Things are eager this year, the buds already showing signs of fattening up on the naked branches of trees and shrubs, flowers surprising us as the snow has melted to reveal their delicate traces, soon to be emerging from the earth and gracing us with their beauty.
The possum, who has spent the winter off and on secluded in the den he fashions by dragging leaves on his long tail to fashion it, has made the rounds frequently these nights -- as have the raccoons and other mammals who are fully synchronized with the nuances of nature which might escape alot of us who are indoors impatiently waiting for Spring.
Soon the cheerful sounds of the peepers, the tiny frogs who frequent ponds and marshes and who often take to treetops in the autumn before any frost will be heard throughout the Cape, proclaiming their optimism and maintaining loyalty to their place in the design of nature.
March is a month known for extreme changes of weather, often wild and then, unpredictably, tame. It is the month that, according to studies, drives more people to a psychiatrist than any other month and has been famed in more than one Shakespearean work, citing us to "Beware the Ides of March."
Even so, can one refute the magic of it all? After the succession of storms that have battered us this winter and the seemingly endless procession of cold days, the birds who routinely fly here to breed have come back again -- faithful to the design of which they are yoked.
In a world which often seems increasingly unsettled and troubled and unlike the one most of us grew up in, there is definitive substance in what adheres to constancy. For this, we might look to nature to uphold that which we as humans frequently stray from: allegiance to a structure which upholds the entire system.
For it is nature that generously provides us with memory of a framework which is ever true amidst that which is often fickle and easily moved.
It is still too cold.
But I am hearing the blackbird, a welcome friend returned.