It’s a dreary time of the year. Across the country, as February exhales it’s frosty breath and unleashes another blanket of snow, the thoughts of blue skies and summer breezes are fleeting and momentary. Victoria, the usually green BC capital is covered in a rare mantle of snow, while Vancouver deals with below freezing temperatures. The dreariness has also taken a toll on this writer. I am sorry to say I have been suffering from a malaise that has brought my recent blog scribbling on bagpipes and bagpiping in the Vancouver area and beyond to a halt. My practicing and band attendance is on hold as I battle health demons that have sapped my strength and determination to become a contributing E. Division PB bandsman. However, with St. Patrick’s Day approaching, the promise of spring is in the air. It is a time of hope, rejuvenation and revival. A time to celebrate my late mother’s heritage, wear green in her honour and enjoy the growing strength of the spring sunshine. In Vancouver, the crocuses are starting to appear through the frost and the heather in some gardens is blooming; small indicators of warmer times to come. On St. Patrick’s Day, I’m determined to be back in form, playing at my favorite Vancouver pub, the Atlantic Trap & Gill, sharing the day with fellow sociable Maritimer’s and Newfoundlander’s (where it’s a provincial holiday), lifting a glass to the patron saint of Ireland and looking forward to the promise of warmer days ahead.