Spring in the upper Midwest is a roller coaster ride – sun and warmth one day followed by cold winds and snow the next. We have our ups and downs. But we also know that spring, and eventually summer, will prevail. Until then we surround ourselves with the hopes and colors of springtime.
I bought some tulips at the store recently to help brighten the day. Their pale colors were lovely and they reminded me of the delicateness of spring with a whisper of pale pink throughout the petals. The blooms were tight when I first brought them home, but they slowly opened up. As they got larger their weight caused them to bend forward, sometimes falling one against another. The lightness and support of these two tulips struck me as the definition of softness.
With a lightness in my step and a smile on my face, I stepped out into 48 degrees and sunshine yesterday afternoon for a walk. The sun was warm and it seemed that everyone was outside taking advantage of the lovely weather. My thoughts turned to spring and the hope of flowers and blooming trees. Tulips seem to be one of those “perfect” symbols of springtime, turning their blooms up towards the sun.
This morning I woke up to snow. Sometimes it was coming down quite heavily. My brightness of yesterday and hope for spring was certainly dimmed. But today is still February, and this snow will probably repeat again before the season turns all the way to spring. I shoveled the heavy wet snow, turned my face to the sun that had broken through the clouds, and tried to imagine the green grass and the blooming trees and tulips.
A week ago there was a lovely full moonrise. I stood by the lake and waited for the moon to clear the hill and the trees on the opposite shoreline. The wind slowly settled down, and there was a lovely quiet that wrapped around me. The waves calmed and the lake became still. Then the moon appeared – large and pearl colored, and as it rose it seemed that the tops of the trees were supporting it and offering it up to the night sky. I watched and then my ears picked up the haunting call of a loon at the other end of the lake. It all seemed a perfect rite of spring, and I savored this respite from the many worries of the world right now.
It had been a windy and cloudy day, but as the evening wore on the wind began to die down. We were fishing as the air became still. Eagles were flying overhead and the crappies were biting. The dark clouds were still above but the sun moved below them lighting up the opposite shore. The leaves were full on some of the trees and yet others had only begun to leaf out, filtering the sunlight as it came through the trees. The low light and the calmness created a beautiful reflection of the end of a spring (finally!) day.
And just like that, spring is here. We’ve gone from brown to green within one week. Some spring rain showers, bright sunshine, and warm temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s have caused spring to burst forth in Minnesota. Grass is now green, and the trees and shrubs are bursting with their leaf buds. Green shoots are visible from the warming soil, and I have even seen some daffodils that are blooming. Our lilac bush has opened its tight buds into the warm air. And luckily the snowfall predicted for this weekend did not appear. Quickly our landscape will continue to change.