• One Minnesota Writer

Raw Winds Promise Spring

Photo by Sarah Wolfe, courtesy of Unsplash

Suddenly, it feels like March. It’s not quite the end of February, but the hints of change are there: damp air, melting snow, breezes that feel raw as in fresh and ready for growth. I felt it as I walked with Mick on Monday afternoon, as I sniffed the air and thought it didn’t smell like winter anymore.

That it hit 41 degrees on Monday was just the balm necessary after two weeks of subzero temperatures. It helped us pull out of our holes, put our faces toward the sky, dream of gardens uncovered and expectant. The water rolling off our snow-covered roof washed down the driveway toward the slushy street.

I know that spring is still a good month away by the calendar and maybe longer by the weather patterns here in Minnesota. But this hopeful surge of warmer air caresses us with a reminder that winter is not and never has been endless. Extend the metaphor: the pandemic, too, is not endless. Promise rides in on waves of vaccines and continued good public health practices. We can look forward to spring. We can look forward to a waning virus. We can look forward to the results of our own adaptability and creativity.

It has been a long stretch of late, one in which I’ve lost interest in most of what’s in front of me. Even the knowledge that I’m not the only one hasn’t helped much. What does help is walking outside, feeling my feet beat a rhythm to the sound of crows holding conversations in trees at the edge of our yard, Mick walking along with me. Once back inside, my attention turns to whatever will sustain me for the day - cooking, yoga, a chat with someone I love. I’ve been spending most of my time in the kitchen because it feels right. At the heart of it all, I just want to make food, share it somehow, and feel nourished. Nothing else seems to matter in this moment.

Perhaps that is the perfect fit with the seasonal change, melting snow and wakening earth. Every creature will stir from winter slumber in need of nourishment. In need of care. That includes us, too, our winter/pandemic selves craving what we’ve been missing for months.

As I write this, it is late in the day. I’m facing our patio doors that look to the west. The waning light streaks the clouds in bright stripes, peers between still-naked tree limbs. It is not yet dark at just a little after 5 p.m., a blatant marker of the shift toward spring, toward green shoots and the swell of new life.

There are light-filled days ahead.

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