Natale: The unexpectedness of April, and welcome spring

Darien-nataleIt’s almost April. The angel of months, with gentle rain washing down on us, the earth smelling of warmth as the icy crystals give up their wintry grasp.

Daily, new green shoots appear on trees, and from the ground, as life renews, and we can give a sigh of relief because we have survived yet another New England winter.

Isn’t spring grand? The first barefoot steps, the pansies and other annuals proliferating in front of local grocery stores and garden centers, herbs newly sprouted filling the air with enough scents to intoxicate even the most hardened city dweller.

Tilley’s Pond is green again. I saw it as I stood waiting for the train — a verdant haven in the middle of town, unexpected and delightful. Uncle Joe’s Deli has the tables set up outside and the Sugar Bowl has their gorgeous pots of flowers vigorously beginning their journey up poles. Who doesn’t love the Sugar Bowl? It’s been a Darien favorite going back (for me anyway) to the 70s when we would stop-off after school for Cherry Cokes and a quick round on the floor to the old juke box — awesome. And whoever does the decorating — well you are amazing and never miss a holiday. How unexpected to walk in now and see you ready for Easter knowing in a few short weeks you’ll transform it into the red-white-blue for Memorial Day.

But with April comes the dreaded 15th, tax season.

At one of the Darien Times’ coffees, I had the fortunate experience to strike up a conversation with Anne Gagnon, financial advisor and first vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors.

She mentioned that Wells Fargo has some wonderful resources for those in the community, having already pulled together their financial documentation, to ensure that they are financially on track.

For those, like me, who may not be the most financially savvy people in the world, it is refreshing to have some financial education. How about that? Spring feels like a sort of New Year’s of sorts, and I’m making a promise to myself to call Wells Fargo Advisors and find out more about how they can help. Thank you, Anne, for letting me know about your world as I subtly let you into mine. How unexpected to know that navigating my finances can be as easy as asking the question.

And with the return of good weather, the walks resume, Lucy is a happy dog as we take our daily constitutional, looking to see what trees were lost over the winter, what dogs have been by on our route, have any deer or fox or hawks visited? And where is the secret garden on Old King’s Highway? Will it be back this year? And last but not least, it’s Lucy’s birthday – she’ ll be 5 – born on tax day, which surely takes the sting out of paying Uncle Sam.

Happy spring to all. We’ve earned it.


Nanci Natale is a lifelong Darien resident, photographer, poet, accomplished gardener, cook and artist. Her poetry has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Bellowing Ark and others publications.

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