Ritual of spring


Painted toenails are a guilty pleasure. I don’t paint my fingernails, but as soon as the distant sun of spring weakly glows, I dig out my sandals and whip out the nail polish.

Such colours; navy blue, chocolate brown, rhubarb pink, lipstick red, each more lovely and enticing than the last. But there is more to this ritual than self-decoration. Painting my nails acts as a sort of feminine version of the Farmer’s Almanac. When the chill days of autumn force me in to shoes and socks at last, I leave my toenail polish intact. And like crazed football fans that refuse to shave until their team wins, I refuse to remove the last coat of polish.

Instead, as autumn gives way to winter and the days shorten and darken, my toenail polish is trimmed away a sliver at a time, like a seasonal measuring stick. Only half an inch of winter left, now only a quarter inch til spring. It has never failed me yet. Punxsutawney Phil wishes he were as accurate.

By my estimation, two more clippings and sandal weather will be here. Hurray, bring on the nail polish.

Glenda Penner, Aldergrove