In the place where I live, although we claim to have four seasons, there really are not. In fact, in a place where it could be 95 F and 99% humidity day in July or a -25F with -50F windchill day in January, there are just two seasons. Winter and mosquitoes.
This is the time of year when it is very difficult to tell if it is November or April. The grass is brown. There are no leaves on the trees. There are little spots of snow on the ground. The wind blows shivers through your clothing.
Only those of us who have survived a lifetime of seasons here can easily spot the telltale signs which differentiate spring from fall. Is it November or is it April?
How can we tell the difference? Here are a couple of hints:
* The brown grass is flat in the spring, bent down from the weight of a winter’s worth of snow. In the fall, the brown grass still shows the mowing lines across the yard.
*In the spring, a 55 degree day will bring out the flip-flops and shorts. A 55 degree day in November is met with down coats, scarves and gloves.
*People on the street will keep their heads down, hiding the hollow, panicked look in their eyes in November as the impending winter approaches. In the spring, the twinkling, smiling eyes of winter survivors will greet passersby, accompanied by a friendly nod or wave.
Same sunny day, same temperature. Different mindset.
We won’t see flowers or leaves on the trees and the grass won’t need to be mowed for several weeks yet.
But we know. It is April. Spring. Not Fall.
We made it through another winter.
You might think that after a horrible winter of record cold and snow, the entire state would move to a warmer place. That would be logical.
But we have beautiful summers here. Green, lush, fairly moderate temperatures. We have lakes, rivers, wildlife, culture. It is an awesome place to live in the summer.
And we are a bit like the mother who gives birth to multiple children. The birth process of winter is painful and we swear we will never go through it again. But that painful process leads to such a beautiful, wonderfully loved child called Summer . Somehow we forget the pain, and find ourselves facing another long cold winter each fall.
Here I am.