Monday, March 24, 2014

So soon April

So soon April. It's the hope and thought of April, as we come to the end of March, that propels us forward.

As I write I avoid looking out. If you don't look you don't see and that's the game being played. 

Snowflakes drop from high gray skies. With a shake of the head it’s another day of regretfully acknowledging spring is a holdout this year.

With the amount of snow still left to melt a fast start to a slow season is clearly out of the question. 

This is accepted given the nature of the 90 day forecast. It isn't a warm forecast for the northern tier. That's us.

Now it’s to wonder when even to expect spring. April becomes pivotal to the answer we await.

You have to look for signs of spring when it’s wayward like this year. 

Along with the lovely gained light there are fortunately other indications that spring is picking its way, however carefully, to our collective door. Recent observations:

1) Water running in the street in the warmth of afternoon sun (back days ago when temperatures were close to March averages. Past days have been cold.)

2) One robin (on the wing) in our neighborhood  and a cardinal, red against white, brightening a tree branch beside the house. Lots of little birds with their quick movements that catch the eye.  An uptick in bird calls are heard.

3) Squirrels everywhere, bounding and racing, tails flying as the furry bundles of animal life leap from trunk to limb to wind-tousled boughs and never an inaccurate guess on their aim for the next precarious landing.

3) Widening areas of bare ground are opening up under evergreens. Beneath the pines and spruce in our yards always seem first places to lose snow cover.

My theory is the dense, dark boughs pull in the sun and bring the warmth down the trunk into the roots. 

An unscientific method of getting to the mystery of things is very freeing I’ve discovered. It allows for much room in reasoning things out.

WCCO-TV, one of our local stations, aired a great First Day of Spring story. The feature, done by staff reporter Rachel Slavik, showed remnant snow heaps, hard as ice and just as resistant to melting away.

She pointed out holiday decorations not yet removed. An inflatable Santa Claus, limp as overcooked noodles, was among specimens of holiday adornments she found to remind us their time was long over.

She interviewed winter-hardened residents in parkas who good-naturedly unzipped them for the camera when reminded it was spring.

In t-shirt (brave of Slavik in that weather!) she did her story outside with green grass at her feet. It had to be artificial turf. Nothing naturally green will be here for awhile.

The angle taken on the spring story was an interesting one. It celebrated spring by taking note of the lingering presence of winter.

By making a spoof of spring, as it tardily arrives this year, the TV feature reflects the Midwestern method of giving perspective to things by poking a little fun at ourselves.

J.Crew is another example of cleverly playing the seasonal theme. It  injects humor where some lightness of spirit is appreciated. In this case it’s in the shoppers’ pocketbooks.

“If I wear this sweater one more day, I’ll scream” sale was announced by sign on the J.Crew storefront. 

I was passing by the store's location at the mall and stopped to read the sign. It had me chuckling as the truth of it hit me. It also had the effect of getting me inside the store

Many of us have the experience of looking into the closet and freezing in place. We become unable to pick out an item because everything has been worn way too often. Tired of it all!

With layers critical this year to winter comfort the continuing re-working of pieces into outfits used up our fashion creativity. 

We can’t think of one fresh way to match, contrast or pull together our by now way too familiar winter wardrobe.

New and different speaks to us after a long season. J.Crew  figures this rightly in its current sweater sale. 

We’re ready for spring. We can come to terms with our late spring if we can get something out of it. An item of clothing or new haircut will work.

In bits and pieces, in clothing and fabrics, in switches to lighter layers, and in anticipated sunny skies and mild breezes, we and spring come together at last.

Ro Giencke – March 24, 2014



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