Winter Green

This has been in Minnesota, as in most of the country, a very strange winter.  Last winter we had seen more than four feet of snow by the beginning of the year and were totally gypped out of the usual “January thaw” that gives us some hope of spring.  This winter, people are outside in sweatshirts, shorts and flipflops (the Minnesota Optimists Uniform) in January. 

It’s not just us humans who are confused. The grass is green and some of my hardier plants in the garden are still growing. I have dubbed our brick path the “Chia Walk” for its bountiful bouffant of moss.

We are in what is normally the depths of winter. Yet, only the long shadows of the sun and the calendar, which has just turned to the New Year, are solid evidence that Jack Frost still holds the cards.  How do you argue with the sun? Or the calendar? 

But 50 degrees in January?  Pinch me; I know it’s only a matter of time before winter’s bite returns. I commented yesterday that we would have just two months of real winter even if this weather turned tomorrow. The pessimist in our household (he knows who he is) said:  “Who are you trying to kid?  Winter doesn’t leave Minnesota until May!”

Sometimes I live with Dougie Downer. And yet, I confess, I find myself obsessing about the thought that tomorrow, or the next day, or someday very soon things will change.  This record-setting weather can’t last, and then we’ll regret squandering even a second of the warmth, resenting that is has been taken from us, and mourning its loss.

How insane is that?  We live for tomorrow, anticipating loss while in the midst of bounty.  And, when the bounty is gone, we live only in yesterday, mourning its passing.  Oh, but isn’t that how we approach most of life?  “This can’t last.”  “It’s been great but…”  Mantras of the human condition.

Starting with this beautiful weather, I am going to focus on today and celebrate it for all that it is.  These above normal temperatures, green grass and bright sun are truly gifts of miraculous measure.  Today is a beautiful day indeed, and one to be lived with gratitude and great joy. 

Now, where did I put my flip flops?

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