Thomas College student Nicholas Magiera, right, and Thomas College assistant softball coach Jason Coleman pull a spike drag over the softball field’s muddy infield this week in Waterville. As Morning Sentinel columnist Amy Calder notes, lots of people in central Maine are working to prepare for spring, if only the month of April would be more accommodating. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Oh, that April wind.

The rain.

Like October, April can give us a warm day, a cold one. Sun, clouds. A morning of sunshine, an afternoon of snow.

Who doesn’t think of Robert Frost’s poem “Two Tramps in Mud Time” when April rolls around?:

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill

You know how it is with an April day

When the sun is out and the wind is still

You’re one month on in the middle of May

But if you so much as dare to speak

A cloud comes over the sunlit arch

A wind comes off a frozen peak

And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”

I have quoted this passage from Frost in past years and do so again because it is the most beautiful depiction of April of any I have seen.

After a cold, harsh winter we can’t wait for March to arrive, and then April.


But every year, as the dirty snow piles linger into the month where crocuses sprout out of the cold earth and we loll with the cats in the sun, there’s deception brewing.

Finally, we say, winter is over. It’s spring, and we envision warm walks, birds chirping in the backyard, Easter Sunday.

But just when we believe we are home free, a biting wind whips at our backs, stinging our eyes with winter sand.

Or the rain pounds away at the brown earth as if to remind us that nothing flourishes without it. There would be no daffodils or tulips, no summer vegetable gardens.

It’s true that summer is all the more sweet because we have persevered through the tough Maine winter.

Imagine how boring it would be to live where the weather is consistently warm and sunny all year long?


We Mainers appreciate the four seasons and, when each nears its end, anticipate the newness to come. Had we no changes to look forward to, wouldn’t life be bland?

I saw my first robin of the spring this past week, hopping on the brown grass, looking for food.

My instinct is to say, “We are here!”

But while the temperature hovered around 50 degrees, the sky was dark and as the day wore on, the cold crept in.

The cats, who have been happy to stay in most of the winter, race to the kitchen door each morning now.

They meow, asking to be let out.


They survey the landscape before heading out to the mini-jungle that is the neighbor’s backyard to forage through dead leaves and sticks, scout for squirrels and spy crows flying overhead.

If sunny, they will climb back onto the deck to absorb the warmth, but if bitter cold, they scramble to come in. They don’t ask to go out again.

Their moods, like ours, are orchestrated by what each April day presents. When the sun shines and there’s no wind, we venture out. Like clockwork, one palatable day ushers in a wintry one.

But as April begins to wane, one good day turns into two, and then three. Snow and bitter cold become a mere memory.

We become acclimated to, and expect, consistent sunshine. We plan gardens, clear winter debris and prepare.

Then, before we know it, summer is here with barely a hint of transition from spring.

We have arrived!

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 34 years. Her columns appear here weekly. She is the author of the book “Comfort is an Old Barn,” a collection of her curated columns, published in 2023 by Islandport Press. She may be reached at For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to

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