WARNING: There is very little cohesive thought in the following:
I've been pulling out all the stops: buying fresh pineapple and copious amounts of green salad, grilling kabobs, working on indoor gardening projects (most of which have died or look truly sorrowful,) doing a spring unit study for our home school, sitting in the sunshine with my eyes closed--pretending that the outside looks different than what it actually looks like....which is like this:
April 9, and it was 18 degrees this morning. My "weather bug" at the bottom of my computer says there is snow expected again on Sunday. Guess I should have warned you at the beginning that this was going to be a rant-sort-of-post...and for that, I apologize. Sometimes it's just therapeutic to get my thoughts out on paper, or in this case, my computer screen.
For the last ten years or so, March and April have typically been difficult months for me. Being raised and living so long in the Midwest, these months, to me, mean the first green shoots, even the first flowers, the first lawn-mowing, sunshine, and refreshing spring rains which cleanse the earth and make her ready for summer. They mean nearly endless sunshine, baby frogs peeping in the pond, and birds, and honeybees waking from their sleep. Ok, in all honesty there was the occasional snow, but it came and was gone--boom!
In Alaska, March and April mean snow falling, slooooowwwwly melting snow, more snow falling, MUD, some more snow, lots more mud. I do see the beauty around me, and I will dedicate the remainder of this post to such signs of hope. The sun makes its appearance comparatively often in Alaska's March. For that, I am truly thankful. It's a gift which keeps me from totally losing my head. Daylight dramatically increases and gives us more energy. The sky starts to tout some shades of blue, rather than the endless gray that plagues us for so long. There are pussy willows bursting out, and the tips of the Birches have a red halo about them--buds waiting for their time to shine. It is during this season that life-long Alaskans get out their flip-flops...and those of us who were raised in other areas wonder why. But of course, I know why. It's because being "Alaskan" is more than where you live. True Alaskans are optimists. I'm not sure that after nearly 12 years I can yet be considered a true Alaskan. Do true Alaskans dream of moving back Outside? Do they waste their blog reader's time with on-line rants about the weather? Do they promise to devote "the remainder of this post to such signs of hope" and then revert to another rant? Sigh.
All this to say.... I know better days are coming. It's like this every year. It seems the snow and cold are endless, and suddenly, that glorious spring-green surrounds us from every angle. Every summer is a marathon for us Alaskans--so many things to plant, so many yard projects to partake in, so many mountains to climb, so many outdoor miles to run and bike and walk! So much daylight! I ask you, who really needs to sleep?? There is a day coming at the beginning of June, where I will raise my arms to the sky, with a smile on my sun-kissed face, and I will tell my husband, "If I EVER tell you I want to move away from this place, remind me of THIS moment!" So, I'll just keep grilling my fresh pineapple kabobs until that day, and though I shiver in the cold, I will be thankful the snow has cleared from the grill to permit such an undertaking. So maybe, just maybe, I am a true Alaskan after all....