We've made it to April! (Even if it doesn't feel like it.)
As I write to you, a winter storm's rolling into our neck of the woods. The weather reports continue to change (surprise, surprise), but it's looking like we could wind up with anywhere from 7 to 10 inches of fresh snow.
This is where I'm tempted to stick that emoji of the face screaming in fear, eyes whited out, head turning blue. But I'm resisting, and I'll tell you why.
All through late-February and into mid-March, I welcomed the random snow flurries, even as they came after unseasonably warm weekends. Even after it seemed we were on a 40- and 50-degree streak (that's, like, 7 to 10 degrees for you Celsius folks; not exactly t-shirt weather, but a far cry from your typical harsh winter temperatures). I felt fine about winter weather because it was, well, winter here. As others groaned on social media over each new snowfall, I delighted over how magical it all felt. Snow, for me, has never been anything other than enchanting.
Then, as March was wrapping up and we started seeing signs of spring (crocuses on the Lawrence University campus!), I'd get out of bed each morning, twist open the blinds, and exclaim playfully to my husband, "Snow!" even though there was none. It became a running joke, and it was funny only because it was truly possible: As Dana's told me many times before, there's usually one last snowstorm of the season—sometimes in April, sometimes even in May (horror of horrors; I want to insert that screaming emoji again)—here in northeastern Wisconsin.
At the same time, I found myself wincing a little when I first heard the news that this storm was coming (and when, last week, we had a light flurry blow through Appleton). I surprised myself by feeling badly about the weather. It was as though my magical, snow globe feelings had vanished because it's spring, dammit, and I need the weather to reflect that!
But I don't want to be the person who needs the weather to go a certain way in order to feel okay about life.
The reason I'm resisting that screaming emoji is because I know it's a choice to respond like that—hands to my cheeks, mouth agape, eyes vacant in fear and powerlessness.
That's the face of someone who won't accept things as they are. Someone whose refusal to do so is causing her all kinds of unpleasant emotions. (She's literally creating that experience for herself. And what's worse is, she's blaming it on the weather.)
Do I want it to be spring? Yes, of course. And guess what? It is spring; it's just that this spring, the spring of 2018, looks like this where I live. It looks like a mighty snowstorm on April 3rd. It looks like crocuses one day, a white-out the next. This is exactly how it's supposed to be (because nothing else, no other reality, exists for Spring 2018 in northeastern Wisconsin).
Do you get what I'm saying?
So, instead of creating an unpleasant experience for myself today, I'm choosing a perfectly legitimate alternative: I'm taking my cue from the robin outside, who's been perched in one of our two cherry trees, watching the snow fall since I first sat down in front of my laptop to write this note to you. (Just as I typed that sentence, a different robin landed in our other cherry tree and is doing much the same—sitting, waiting, watching, and puffing out its feathers to stay warm.)
Like the robin, I'm going to witness this season, what's happening right now, this will-never-exist-again April 3, 2018. And refrain from judgment, from attaching my feelings to what is or isn't falling from the sky.