First day of Spring or not, we’re having one last snowstorm today. It’s a pretty, steady, wet snow that covers the grass but hasn’t begun to stick to the roads. We’re safely tucked in for the last day of Spring Break with a load of basketball to keep us warm so we can afford to be rather sanguine about more snow.
A review of my blog and my Twitter comments for the last three months indicates that the primary topic of my thoughts is the weather. It’s as if I am an elderly lady with nothing else to talk about. Nothing could be further from the truth, though I find that as I age, the natural world has more and more importance in my life and claims on my thoughts.
Some of my strongest, earliest memories center around the outdoors. I can vividly smell and feel the carrots my dad let me pick from his backyard garden when we lived in Martinez, California and I was 4 years old. I can smell the majesty of the pine forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a place we visited so often in my childhood that I’ve surely lost track of the number of times we drove those roads. I can still feel the cold of Billie Creek on my feet and the warmth of the sun on the high rock overlooking the creek where my sister and I sat and tried to dry the sneakers we had been ordered to keep out of the water.
Today, more than 25 years since I left California, a foggy day reminds me of my hometown in the winter and instead of feeling desolate, the fog feels like home. Where ever I have lived, my mood has been shaped by the climate and time spent outdoors in it. From hazy sunsets over the green hills in Tennessee to amazing sunrises over the expanse of prairie in Nebraska, these scenes form my strongest memories of places. Long ago I realized that my favorite season is always the one we are just about the enter. So it is that Spring’s promise of sunny warmth, blooms and abundant green feels like a happy prospect today, even if Mother Nature isn’t quite ready to leave Winter's charms behind.