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Spring Reinvented
By Judy Dean


Spring in Michigan (March thru May) is predictably unpredictable but I love it anyway. I love the gradual lengthening of days, the loamy smells, the songs of returning summer birds, the slow greening of everything, the first few nights with windows cracked open, and all the other reminders of the earth’s reawakening. I won’t dwell on what I call “the season of mud” – but that too is part of the bargain.


Where I live spring’s always been a two-step-forward, one-step-back proposition. We’re used to this fickle pattern and enjoy complaining about it. However, in recent years spring seems to be reinventing itself – or more accurately, we humans are messing with it, and not in a good way.


Just this past week we hit 72 degrees – a record I believe – for that date in February (yes, February). Roughly 24 hours later it dropped to 22 degrees with spitting snow, followed by frigid howling winds, a spectacular electrical storm, and then, for the grand finale, a tornado.


February is Not Spring, and none of that weather (with the exception of the spitting snow) was normal. My tulips and daffodils are hopelessly confused: bulbs spouted with incredible vigor and are well on their way. I’m sure those shoots will be buried in snow soon enough but will likely survive. It’s the farmers I worry about.


Somehow this wonkier-than-usual weather seems to mirror the uncertain times we’re living in. With the weight of global warming and social turmoil bearing down on us, the world I’ve known feels like it’s wobbling on its axis. Over the near term however, I’m hoping to not forget to notice the daily miracles that are spring.

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