This winter seems to have been an exceptionally long, hard, gritty slog. But give Minnesotans a few days with temperatures in the fourties, and all of a sudden it's all sunshine, sweetness, and light -- as if December and January and February never happened. Essayist Peter Smith explains.
Smith: Hang around Minnesota long enough and you realize that the calendar is a procession of mini-seasons-of tiny benchmarks, small victories and lesser gratifications that all-but-subliminally put a spring in your step and a melody in your heart.
The mini-season we're in right now, for example. The one where winter blinks first and we know we've got it beat.
Sure it's morning. Sure you're in your bathrobe, standing in a snow bank in your slippers, searching for the newspaper in the yews beside the front door. But you have to feel cheerful. It's getting lighter a little earlier every day. And, while the migratory songbirds may not be back yet, the cardinals are filling in for them nicely.
And tomorrow, when you're standing there in your slippers searching for the newspaper, the snow bank will be just a little smaller. The sunrise will be just a little further along. The cardinals will sing just a little more audaciously.
C'mon! High-five! It's melting! It's melting!
Stick a fork in it, Winter. It's over. You're done. Even if the state high school tournaments drag in that traditional snowstorm, you got nothing. You're through.
We can see spring from here. We can see spring, and we know life isn't all wind chill, wet socks and weather advisories.
If Gene Kelly were here in Minnesota right now, he'd be singing in the snow instead of singing in the rain, pirouetting around Snow Emergency signs instead of lampposts.
It'd be, "Singing in the snow, singing in the snow. What a glorious feeling! Time for winter to go." That's what it'd be...
And it is a glorious feeling. One that people in California and Florida will never experience. After months of monotonous warm weather and sunshine what have they got to look forward to? Triple digit temperatures and heat rash. That's what. Triple digits and heat rash and one of those persistent, sinusy air conditioning colds.
We, on the other hand, have crocuses to look forward to. Crocuses, then daffodils, then golf tee times and walks around the lakes and... Well, you get the picture, Minnesota. Spring hasn't sprung, but winter sure as heck just flinched and life is good.