When we think about spring the images that come to mind are bright and fresh. Tulips and crocuses and daffodils come in a range of happy colors. New shoots of grass, fresh buds on the trees, robins with their red breasts all evoke a feelings of hope and joy. Even in the worst of our spring images April showers bring may flowers.
Nowhere in the lexicon of spring imagery is the reality of grey ugly snow that refuses to melt. Those April showers in our imagination look more like a warm summer rain than like sleet beating against the roof. Gentle spring breezes of the mind are rarely underlined with cold northern gusts that carry the cold damp through all the layers. Winter hangs on tightly with icy fingers.
I do understand that all of this is the nature of where I live. There are areas of the country where planting is underway. Real planting, not starting seedlings indoors. I know there are places where snow is a rare thing that never overstays its welcome. I recognize that this weather we’ve all been complaining about is actually pretty normal for us this time of year.
I look back fondly on Groundhogs Day. Where I come from it really doesn’t matter what Punxsutawney Phil does. We are getting at least six more weeks of winter. When six weeks starts stretching into eleven it’s easy to become a little frustrated and impatient. Cabin fever and spring fever get all bundled up together in a grey haze and we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
To combat the malaise I’m making small efforts. Spring cleaning happens in fits and starts, even though it’s too cold to open up the windows. Hot house tulips bought at the grocery store are stuffed in vases. I’ll even splurge on asparagus, trucked in from who knows where.
I’ll light a fire in the fireplace and dream of campfires. I’ll make soup out of the asparagus ends and throw snow peas in the salad. I’ll tend those indoor seedlings and sharpen my gardening tools.
Or maybe, like the groundhog I’ll go back to bed. I’ll stick my head under the covers and stay warm until the sun decides to come out. Maybe in May? I have my fingers crossed.