March 28, 2019

A Season of Hope after the Polar Freeze

Michigan's winter was intense this year, long, snowy, and so, so cold! The frigidness was breath-taking, literally, and winds strong enough to take trees down and blow a person sideways. Other regions in the United States had it worse with storms, rain, rain, rain, mud slides, massive flooding, so I will not complain. 

The entire Upper Peninsula was hit with over 200 inches of snow. Yet, when I spoke with our Marquette aunt and uncle about how they were coping, they quipped with a twinge of humor, "what can ya do?" … "we had to rake the roof again" … "chip the thick ice off the driveway" … rumor is that their son and his family even built an igloo. My mid-70-year-old aunt then shared that she waded through the chest deep snow to help elderly neighbors by clearing ice and snow from outside ducts. She'd laugh about how she must have looked with snow "up to my boobs!" - we giggled, partly because she doesn't talk like this, partly because this is so her - helping and diving into the task. Such positivity coming down to us in mid-Michigan. Hardy doesn't even define the depth of countless Michigan Yoopers cheerfully enduring the Polar Freeze and raging snow this winter.


March arrived with the heart and roar of a lion! But, and thankfully, spring is squeaking in with bright blue skies and temperatures 30s-50s - we'll take it. Our snow and ice have mostly melted. Walking in the woods this week a herd of deer bounded away with their bright white tails flashing us in the grasses. My conservation steward daughter rescued a couple caterpillars walking across the trail - and heard the abundant varieties of birds - some scolding us as if we were intruding on their territory. A highlight was when my husband and daughter were graced to see the first platter-sized leather back turtle leisurely (and gleefully) swimming in the park's pond. Signs of hope.

Spring – a time of renewal, rainy weather clearing out the mushy snow, crocuses, promises of the rest of the year engulfed in tolerable climate, the smell of manure on the farmer's fields. The exquisite, tantalizing smell of blossoms. Bees, yes, don’t forget the buzz of bees and the heady happiness of birds and land creatures. Spring is a balm for the weary wintered soul, a fragrance of hope and continuity of life. I figuratively hug the aromas - even that of spring skunks, a certain sign of the changing season.

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