It’s a dark and sad time in Minnesota this week. Tensions have risen, actions have been taken, people have been hurt, and everyone is in a state of shock. Our state is filled with a wonderful diversity of people which adds to the richness of this place. We are proud of our lakes, our rivers, our towns and cities. We take on the challenge of hard winters that linger late into spring, snowfalls that bury is in feet of snow, and subzero temperatures that settle in for weeks. Now we are facing the challenge of grieving losses – loss of life, loss of property, loss of respect. Sadly there are business owners, apartment dwellers, and many people that have had their places burned and have been displaced through no fault of their own. The losses are many and spread throughout our cities. We are mourning and many of us are saddened that our state has been rocked by the extent and severity of this week’s events, and it will take time for us to mend.
Change is inevitable in life. We will grieve and struggle, and we will get through this, and I sincerely hope that this week’s news gets replaced with hope and understanding, love and respect.
The past three weeks we’ve had a Friday snowfall, and each one has been different. One was wet and sloppy, one was a dusting of dry snow, and another was driven from the north. This one painted the trees on one side only, outlining them from the wind direction. Birch and aspen that are generally white had an extra coating of brighter white on the north. With a cloudy sky overhead, this color photograph became a black and white scene without any alterations. Each of these snows have been short-lived as they’ve been followed by warmer temperatures and sometimes rain. But as the months progress, we know there will soon be the snow that stays and is increased with each storm – all the way until next spring.
We’re languishing still in winter – short days, colder than normal temperatures, gray skies, brown ground. This beautiful splash of purple iris caught my eye at the store last week. Flowers! Color! Spring! – all in one compact bouquet. It was an instant “shot” of what I needed. The promise of spring is still ahead; yes, there will be blue skies, sunshine, the scents of spring, and the colors of flowers – somewhere ahead of the snow expected later today.
The temperature dropped and winter came back to Minnesota during the past mid-week. The blue skies and hope of spring were delayed and side tracked by a fast-moving front that dropped snow and brought back winter’s cold winds. The gray sky that accompanied this snow seemed gloomier than usual, perhaps because of the desire for spring. But as I wandered the hills, listening to the rattling of the oak leaves in the wind, I saw a brief opening in the clouds – just long enough for a shaft of light to come through and give hope again for an eventual departure of winter.
After a week of gloomy, dreary skies a beautiful blue appeared today to help Saint Paul celebrate it’s Winter Carnival. With temps in the 20’s, hundreds of people were dressed warmly, soaking up the Vitamin D, and enjoying the snow sculptures that were completed for the carnival. Perhaps because we’re all longing for warmer climates, this sculpture titled “Under A Rest,” received the Peoples Choice Award. Complete with cacti and little gophers popping up from the ground, the cowboy seemed quite content to take a long winter’s nap in his frozen state.