Growing up in south Texas, it basically never snows, and thus the concept of winter melting into spring is a foreign one. Some joke that the four seasons are almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas. Some years that's pretty accurate. So, moving to Minnesota, where there are more obvious and traditional movements through the seasons, has given me some new experiences. I've been pretty busy, with my mind in a lot of places (like homework and what to do with my life), but the artistic (or spiritual?) side of me has not failed to notice the subtle changes and beauties occurring around me outside, and I thought it appropriate to reflect on them here.
While it did not take long to get tired of and frustrated with snow, fresh fallen snow does have a certain beauty, and fields of white, dotted with houses, barns, and trees covered in snow, is definitely captivating (though more so when viewed from someplace warm..). It was fascinating to watch snow fall, slowly or quickly, but silently, large flakes or small, covering everything indiscriminately and making it sparkle. The brightness of it, even at night, was also fascinating.
Melting snow can get fairly disgusting, truthfully, but as the snow melted (and then came back, and melted again...grr) and the ground appeared again, mushy and muddy, but still with grass, I was kind of amazed at everything that had just paused underneath the snow. Evergreen type plants were still green, though much of the newly exposed flora was now dead and brown looking. A few days later, walking to breakfast one morning, I noticed the grass was suddenly much greener, and buds had appeared on trees and bulbs had begun poking through the ground again. It really was amazing how a switch seemed to have been flipped so that everything knew to come to life again. I even noticed, today, that the buds on the trees are becoming tiny leaves, bright green.
Texas also has spring (at least when it's not in a drought), and the flowers every spring have always been my favorite. I missed those this year, and didn't realize how deeply embedded that was in me until I was driving back from church Sunday and passed the first flowers I had seen on the side of the road, and something inside me leaped for joy. Minnesota flowers are different, and they can grow them all summer (some of the same flowers Texas grows in winter!), but I will be glad to see flowers blooming everywhere. I suppose this was a good year to miss Texas spring, since the state is so dry it's not a good year.
I have one more season to see unfold in Minnesota. While I'm not convinced that having such explicit seasons is a necessity (though the hymn In The Bleak Midwinter makes a lot more sense to me now), I freely admit the interesting form of creation present in the cycle of the seasons and appreciate the experience.