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Mpls, MN, United States

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

La primavera

Some of you might not know what this is, so I will tell you: it is the most beautiful sight of my day. It is my open kitchen window, and the meanings thereof are myriad, but include the fact that I may finally be able to oust the remnants of my apartment's recent curry odor; that I rode my bike to the library wearing no long underwear or gloves, with just a fleece over my T-shirt; and that, at 5:30, I still have close to an hour of daylight left.

I wouldn't be remotely surprised if we had snow again before the season starts in earnest, but in the meantime, I'm not yet jaded Midwesterner enough to resist celebrating, if only temporarily.

I grew up in the Northwest, and never really understood why people liked spring (or, for that matter, ever knew what it really was) until I moved to Nebraska. Certainly spring in the Northwest is beautiful: flowers add even more color to the consistently green landscape and the tulip tree in our front yard in Auburn was exquisite. But in Auburn, a day in June can as easily be 50 or 60 degrees as a day in January. The transition from a rainy winter to a rainy spring is subtle at best.

In the Midwest, however, the changing of the seasons is a different story altogether. After painful months of temperatures below the freezing point, a 40° day feels balmy. Shoots poking out of ground that has been frozen solid and buried under snow--the first hints of green in a world that has been shades of brown and gray since November--are positively inspiring. Following a real winter, one that freezes your bones and makes you forget there ever was autumn, let alone summer, spring makes life feel worth living again.

Ohio won't be securely into spring for a few more weeks--and even then, won't be immune from snowstorms. But the spell has broken! Spring is coming, and my windows are open.

9 comments:

bryant said...

I'm glad you have a spring day to enjoy. You captured the greatness of a midwest spring day rather well. After a long winter you just want to run outside and wear shorts and smell the wet, black, detritous covered soil.

It's never spring here. Or fall. Or winter. Although we did get snow today? I was in a store, buying RainX of all things, when it started. Everyone was real excited. But by the time I made it out of the store (about 2 minutes) all that was left was a steaming parking lot.

Hathor said...

The crocuses are blooming, my daffodils are just starting to pop, and the tulip greenery is thick in my planters. I am also ready for spring. I love opening all the windows and letting clean, cool air flow through the house and having sunshine coming through the windows.

Persephone also appreciates the sunshine: she basks on the window sill of whichever window has the most sunlight at any given time of day and then moves to the other side of the house as the sun moves across the sky.

Cerise said...

You know, that's true: I half-way discovered spring in Walla Walla. The winter I was there was so foggy and awful that spring really did feel pretty amazing once it arrived--except, of course, for all the PDA on campus. Eastern Washington definitely gets more credit for a real spring than do the coastal regions. Your description almost makes me miss it (though I definitely miss you guys)!

Bryant, sorry about your seasonlessness... although your snow story made me giggle.

Karen said...

Ceri that story of an Ohio spring touched my heart, and thanks for the glimpse of the great buckeye state from your kitchen window. Ohio rules.

Wee Katie said...

I love your picture. It was spring here, too, yesterday; she poked her head in the window for a bit before running away. (Then it snowed last night.) Way to focus on the positive, though. I couldn't stop smiling yesterday as I walked around without a coat on, enjoying the grass that seemed to have greened overnight.

Dragonfly said...

I totally celebrated spring yesterday, wearing my sandals and only my jacket (not my parka). But of course the weather that was 65 degrees at 8 am had turned to 26 degrees by 8 pm.

I had one day of spring. It's enough for now. But not for long.

Karen said...

march 11 ceri? That's your last posting? Come on you can do better than that! Get your head in the game!

Angela said...

i'm with karen. where are you ceri?

Anonymous said...

"Following a real winter, one that freezes your bones and makes you forget there ever was autumn, let alone summer, spring makes life feel worth living again."

What spectacular essence--confirmed by the alacrity of the responses. Primavera.