Where we’ve been
I got a kind email from a reader of my column who urged me to pick up this blog again.
So here I am. It’s about time.
You see, the sun is shining and it’s 46 degrees outside, meaning we are without coats and a friend showed up at my house in flip flops. Almost all the snow is gone from the front yard and it’s shrinking in the back, and all that’s left on the roads are those great dirty lumps in the middle of the cul-de-sac. I almost wrote a post about the beauty of puddles.
It’s come to this.
I’ve been in the north through three winters now, and I will say this: a Minnesota winter is not to be trifled with. It is one-hundred-and-twenty-days-below-50-degrees long. There is no getting around it. Seth and I talk often about the two planets we live on. Summer is glistening lakes, birds everywhere, a landscape green as Oz, golden cornfields, gardens, lilacs, tulips, daisies.
Winter is a sheet of ice and snow. You can’t tell lake from land. Unless you’re wearing blades or seven layers of clothing, it is simply too cold to be outside for more than an hour. The air stings and we crowd inside, bumping into one another and learning the art of patience.
But spring is here. On Wednesday I stepped into my backyard for the first time in four months. Yesterday I was hustling everyone out the door because it was Science Fair Day and we had three massive posters plus visual aids like dish soap and cloth and we had to stop at Staples for colored graphs and the kids were supposed to be cleaning out the trunk to fit all the posters and visuals and I found them…standing on the driveway, all four of them in their winter jackets and backpacks, sniffing the air.
“Get in the car,” I said, just a teensy bit snippy.
“But Mom,” they said. “Look. Listen. Can you feel it? This is spring.”
I had one of those moments of clarity the other night, right at that bluing time of dusk when store fronts flicker and the world quiets as day turns to night. I was in the car alone, paused at a stoplight, and there it was. I just felt it. Peace and vision, the kind that makes me want to throw my arms wide and I say, “I get it. This whole tragic, messy, beautiful thing of life makes sense.” Just a glimmer and it was gone. But I’ll never forget it.
We have been many places since I last wrote a true post. I will write about that soon. Promise.
It’s good to be back.