You probably don’t stay up until 2 a.m. to “spring forward” or “fall back” with all the clocks in your house, preferring to set them before bed or after you get up the next morning.

But last night – while you were sleeping, zoning out on Colbert or worrying about how well to wash your hands – spring arrived.

It’s easy to overlook, given our intense focus on the coronavirus pandemic. But spring is what we always look forward to because it marks a new birth, nature coming alive, and a lot of other things. Sometimes snow on April 1, but that’s New England for you.

At 11:50 Thursday night, spring crept in and curled up at the foot of the bed. 

There’s no two-week self quarantine for spring. The robins won’t be sheltering in place or even maintaining a 6-foot social distance out on the backyard fence. Crocuses beat the first true day of spring by a week or two in some areas. Seed catalogs are dog-eared already, orders placed and thoughts of time outdoors -- with spacing between humans, of course -- are on everyone’s mind.

Schools are closed, many businesses are shuttered for who knows how long, more and more people are unemployed or, if still working, doing it from home. 

St. Patrick’s Day was a bust, called off to keep people from congregating. Pro sports are on ice, many local playgrounds and playing fields are off limits, and uncertainty is one thing we all share.

But spring’s arrival means there are no excuses for not getting outside for a long walk on a rail trail or rambling on paths on town conservation land. It’s running season, too, with more people out running in the morning and evening than before, even if dreams of a Boston Marathon bib number have to wait until fall. Running knows no limits and spring can be the time to start. Spring will bring us outdoors to give a nod and “how ya doin’?” to the neighbors or strangers walking by at a respectable distance. Sidewalk conversations and sharing our experiences can still happen now, at a distance, outdoors. 

Even with life turned upsidedown, the seasons come and go. Spring is here. We can put a lot of miles on the walking shoes before June 20 at 5:44 p.m. when summer comes knocking.

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