"Spring plunges onward, and yet the season seems strangely more patient than it often does here in mid-April. Perhaps it's the long light at evening or the abundance of fair-weather days recently, but a time of year that is emblematic of swift change has offered a consistency, a duration, no one really expects. The grass has risen through old thatch and blossoms have begun to appear on old wood, which reminds you that spring is also a season for dividing the living from the dead--the plants that can't revive, the leaves blown into drifts below the hemlocks, the old stems that won't bud again. Everyone is this neighborhood builds a brush pile about now, and when conditions look right, they set it afire, as though it were a pyre on which winter burned, the last purification before looking ahead toward summer."
from The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg