It’s springtime in Austin, and it’s another reason to live here.

A week ago the weather was warm and humid. Walking through my neighborhood felt like being in a greenhouse, with the air hanging heavy, and the sight and more importantly the smell of green everywhere.

The past few days have been drier and cooler. Jasmine—which grows wild on my street—and wisteria have just bloomed, and the smells are intoxicating. The trees have leafed out, and walking down my street is like walking through a tunnel. Being inside (as I am now, for some reason) seems a waste.

As the plants come back to life, so does the community, after our long, bitter winter. There’s a rush of events during the window of time before summer fully bears down on us. We come out of our shells and rub now-unclad elbows.