Far in the distance, a crack perforates the landscape. It is accompanied not by sound, but by consequence; rejuvenation. Winter has at last agreed to loosen its icy grip and soon it will release fully, allowing spring to paint the panorama with her pastel palette.

These mornings, when the curtains are opened and placed in their tiebacks, the darkened room illuminates with shards of sunlight piercing the early morning grey hovering in the air. Opening the door to the Chateau invites a swirl of jasmine scented air; even crisp, the breeze is propelled by a vein of warmth pulsing the cold forward. Inside the Chateau darkness is relinquishing to light but outside, light has begun its renaissance.

Walking through the garden is like watching a circus erect its tents; small blooms wait patiently in soft colored balls, dotting branches changing hues. Verdant leaves unfold prepared to provide the eventual floral display a dramatic backdrop.   Puddles disappear into the ground turning from rich chocolaty mud to a lush grass blanket that has been fostered by winter’s wet. The trees whistle once more; their tiny orchestra replaced over fallen predecessors. Shaded limbs invite the birds’ return and with them, their songs. A symphony of coos, mewls and caws of fledgling offspring ring out from the outlining thicket.

One’s step is lighter, one’s heart more open. Flesh on flesh as ungloved hands press soft skin together, fingers linking in love’s first dance. Children skip in freedom from their residential prisons. Toys, overplayed through winters watch, are housed as once banished balls, sticks, rackets and ribboned kites fly down fields neglected under sheets of ice. Smiling faces parade unencumbered, no longer shielded to ward of the rain’s frigid blades. Passersby turn a lapel allowing a spot of color to peek out from under a waistcoat – the chromatic panoply shuttering to burst out onto the worlds stage once more.

Chests heavy with worry of winter’s months feel the fissures as well. Every breath in deeper as constrained hearts break away the grip of despair. Fears of practicality turn to thoughts of love. Letters arrive quicker, words bouncing from the papyrus with a renewed sense of joviality. Lines once cautious are scrawled with the same levity as the hand writing them. Cracks in caution give way besotted thoughts.

The thaw has begun and spring acts like an eager child trying to push its way from behind its mother’s petticoats refusing to be restrained any longer. The Chateau is shaking off its winter coat because nothing is more inviting than Place de Plume in the springtime.