I have a love/hate feeling about this time of winter. I love the melting, the feeling that spring is coming and winter is ending. I love the smell of the air and the earth. I love the impossibly clear days and nights when standing on the deck looking up at the stars actually means you'll see stars and not clouds. I love the return of sunlight at 5 when I'm dragging the garbage out to the curb. I love finding buds on trees and small green shoots next to the south side of the house.
I hate the color of the snow, that black, dirty, awful color. I hate finding anything and everything that was lost in the snow. I just tossed a glove in the garbage tonight. It appears that it went through a snow blower and was just left in my drive. I hate the loss of the brilliant white from a new snowfall. I hate losing the bracing taste of cold days and the feeling that I'm filling my lungs with clean air. I hate dragging in the mud of a ground slowly losing its thaw.
But it is time. It's March, month number 3. It's a new year and a new spring, a time for anticipating new beginnings, clearing away the debris of a winter passed and heading bright-eyed into a spring ripe with opportunities.
And I remember that exactly one week ago, I was standing at a BP in Center Point, Iowa, shivering because it was -30 below with the wind, feeling the stinging of wind-driven snow on my face as I filled the car with gas. I thought about that as I stood at a BP in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on the way home from work in 39 degree weather without my coat and watching as the piles from the past weekend made rivulets in the parking lot. What a difference 7 days has made.
I do wonder, however, if March is coming in this mildly, I probably shouldn't put the sweaters or the boots or the winter coat or the snow shovel away just yet.