If you are not a Minnesotan, you can't appreciate the significance of this in our lives. March's snowfall is second only to December's, and we still have a good month and a half of winter left. But suddenly two feet of snow is gone in just over a week, and the kids are dogs are splashing through the muddy yard and it smells like spring.
Going outside in shirt sleeves makes us giddy, but it creates a strange anxiety when it is this beautiful out this early in the season. We are a hardy people, strong and flexible. We can take whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Two feet of snow on Halloween? No problem! Two weeks of sub-zero temperatures? We can handle it! But teasing us about Spring - that is something that could bring these marathoners to our knees. The way to make it through winter - especially in these last months when the rest of the country is posting pictures of their budding tulips on facebook - is to hang on through the ups and downs of our winter and not even hope for spring yet, which comes as April turns to May. "Keep your head down and your right arm pumping" as they say.
We don't know what to do with this weather. There truly is a pit in my stomach, an anxious roller coaster of emotions as I throw open my windows to let the breeze into a house that has been closed up for 4 months and hear my husband say to the neighbor (because we stand around and "visit" with our neighbors when the weather turns nice), that he is "trying not to get his hopes up." I want to go right now and buy seeds for my garden, I want to box up the winter coats and pull out the spring clothes. I want to make smoothies and salads and grilled meats for dinner, and tuck the chili and pot roast recipes deep into the recipe box and forget about them for a while.
But I have been a Minnesotan for the better part of three decades, and I know that even though it looks like spring is coming, we are still in winter. Quit playing with us, world. I don't think my heart can take it.
But seeing my children squealing in the sunshine, and my husband chatting with the neighbor, hearing cacophony of birds at my window, and smelling the deep earthy scent of mud, I've decided that, for today, I am going to surrender to the brutal charade and play along. I'll mop up the pieces of my broken, melted heart when the next snowfall comes.
Fire up the BBQ and pull out the potato salad.
We're playing Spring!
March 2, 2007
April 1, 2009