The last four spring seasons have been difficult for me. Not because of the ridiculous work loads I have so often inflicted upon myself. Not because of deadlines and the tenuous nature of summer work in our field. Spring is hard for me because I have to hear my family daily reminding me of how much better the weather is at home. Living far north of my hometown has numerous (mostly political) advantages, but the weather will always make me homesick.
When I was just seven years old, my family took a May road trip to Yellowstone. I was so excited to see all of the exciting things my uncle had elaborately told me about. Bears, buffalo, geysers, and bubbling pits?! What could be more magical to a nature-obsessed child? When we got there, however, it was much cooler than it had been at home. I called my dad and he said that is was 80 degrees (F) in Lebanon. 80 degrees?! That was definitely shorts weather. I looked down at my jeans, burst into tears, and begged my family to never take another vacation.
Since then I have driven through Wyoming twice, both times in the process of moving to colder climates. My seven-year-old self would think I was quite foolish, and maybe I am. I distinctly recall feeling that I never had the opportunity to thaw out during my first summer in WA. The temperatures never went above 90, and they rarely reached that. MI summers are much warmer, more humid, and full of evil stinging and biting insects. WA’s magical climate and absence of mosquitoes makes it a tempting place to eventually settle down.
My resolution this year is to enjoy the spring for what it is. Not a mild summer, like it was in Missouri, but a season of hope. The cold remains, but the snow is gone. The clouds still hang over our heads most days, but the sun comes out and says hello when it feels like it. We know the long winter has come to an end and that the plants will come back to life soon. These days are just as important as the warm ones that will follow. I’m doing my best to enjoy them as well as I can.