One very cold morning last February, after we’d had a mini blizzard in the night, I found the roads snow-covered as I drove into town. By noon the sky cleared and a small, weakling sun shone down from the pale-blue winter sky. Despite the cold temperatures, I noticed that patches of snow on the blacktop road were melting. I thought with a wry grin on my face, “This is the start of spring.”
Most people would strongly deny that spring was finally returning to our northern ice-blocked land on that February day. Only when the grass is green, the trees have leaves and the temperatures are shirt-sleeve comfortable, is spring generally recognized.
Spring in Wisconsin is very subtle. It arrives slowly. Each stride it makes is the size of a “chicken step”, my Mom’s term to describe how slowly days become longer after the winter solstice. Instead of lengthening the usual three minutes a day, the days in December and January lengthen by only a minute or two. That same slow, but steady progress is the way spring returns to the northern hemisphere. Continue reading