It is February. It is a short long month. We are in the depth of winter here in the upper midwest. The snow is still falling and the temperatures can be any where from 35 degrees to -35 degrees. One week the sidewalks are clear and walking is great and then the next week it is icy, packed snow and lots of mounds to climb over at every corner.
The sunlight is returning, oh so slowly, but each day is a bit longer. We see light just as seven am arrives and darkness does not fall upon us until after 5:30 pm. The days are still mainly grey in tone but every so often the sky turns a crisp bright blue with a brilliant sun too dazzle our eyes and warm our hearts.
If you are a skier or an ice skater you are making the most of these days for you know that as the month rounds the midway corner the sun will begin to melt the snow during the day and the evening cold will refreeze it in a rough icy glaze making winter sports not as much fun.
There are days like last Sunday where the morning is grey and snowy – dropping 6 to 7 inches of the white flaky stuff. The afternoon turned sunny with mild temperatures and everyone headed out to sledding hills, skating rinks and ski hills. It was a glorious winter day. Ending in folks drying out around a fire with a warm drink in hand. Even the very little ones were in on the fun.
But through it all we are all waiting. We are just all keeping busy. We are distracting ourselves as we wait. We have turned our thoughts to warm weather – to colors like green, yellow, reds and more greens. The white of winter has begun to lose its fascination. Brown oak leaves as the rattle in the wind are no longer interesting.
We have our gardens planned out, seed catalogs have been thumbed through and marked, seeds ordered and waiting. Spring and summer clothes are showing up in stores and people are trying on shorts on those days when the temperature reaches close to 40 degrees.
We are ready for warm spring days, light green leaves bursting from branches, and cool nights. We are waiting to hear the sound of spring peepers, insects buzzing and birds singing early in the morning. We are ready to walk out on the deck in our bare feet and watch the night sky fill with bats circling the neighbors maple tree.
We are ready to put away the snow shovels, the salt that helps keep us up right on the sidewalk ice, the boots, hats, mittens, sleds, skates, heavy coats and scarfs. We are ready for clean cars, clear sidewalks for walking and maybe even the sound of a lawn mowing bring the smell of fresh cut grass.
Yes, we are waiting for the end of winter.
(All that said, I also know that here in Minnesota winter can reach its snowy arms well into March and once in awhile it shakes its head filling our gardens with snow in April as well. So we have a while to wait but I can dream of green can’t I?)
Duluth Minnesota March 2019 Minneapolis Minnesota April 2019