I am not grateful for winter. Ever. I know it’s supposed to be a perfect time for cozy conversations, lingering over dinner, and spending weather imposed quality time with your family. Many, many people are grateful for the beauty and splendor and natural pace of winter. I am not one of them.
I grew up in Michigan (we also currently live in MI, but I had to run off to France in college so I can’t say I’ve been here the whole time). We have a special relationship with the winter. It could start as early as October, and years when it doesn’t are hilarious for the number of children in giant Halloween costumes because their Michigan native parents know they must be big enough to fit over a snow suit … just in case. It could go as long as after Easter … even years when Easter is in mid-April. Some years we have more winter than we have anything else in the year combined.
As a West Side (uh, the ‘best side’, for the record) MI native, I use terms like Lake Effect Snow and 10-12 inches of new accumulation overnight on a regular basis in the winter. The snow dumps on us for weeks and weeks. The winds are cold. The sun doesn’t show through the ugly overcast clouds from literally December to February. I don’t pine for pretty picture perfect snowfalls or enough fresh powder for Christmas morning snapshots, snow angels, or skiing. People that do are from places where snow is a luxury, not a mandated annual torture.
You can imagine my delight when I saw this while waiting for the dogs to finish playing in the backyard this morning (while wearing a tshirt, mind you, because anything above literal freezing feels like a heatwave around here) …
That’s right. The snow has begun it’s retreat. What you’re looking at is the middle of my backyard. To the left, the snow has miraculously vanished. To the right, it still covers the yard completely with it’s many inches deep blanket of tundra. This area in the middle is the greatest sight around … the little remnants of snow melting away as the temperatures rise above -287 Fahrenheit (ok, above freezing, but … exaggeration is necessary sometimes), giving us hope once again that MI may shake off this frozen coat sometime before Memorial Day this year.
Melting snow means tulips soon, walking barefoot, eating deliciously fresh and natural foods grown in my own backyard, ice cream on random Tuesday nights, warm sunshine (what does that even look like?!), swimming, sitting by the fire late into the evening discussing politics or philosophy or the necessary preparations for the Zombie Apocalypse, and Oberon. Spring brings tshirt weather, new growth, renewal, and a chance to shake off all the duldrums and dust we collected over the (loooooong winter). Spring is like magic.
Magic, I am always grateful for.
For more Gratituesday awesomeness, check out Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.