Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The late-winter, early-spring struggle

It snowed today. Real snow, with accumulation (though luckily it did not stick to the streets and sidewalks).

(This is the trunk of my car as I was brushing it off before my drive home.)

(I wish I had taken the time to really focus in on some of those snowflakes--as annoying as they were to see, they were also beautiful!)

Everyone's been talking today about how they're not happy about the snow.

I've been watching carefully for signs of spring, signs that I'll finally be able to put away my winter coat and turtlenecks soon. When we went walking at Deer Haven a couple weeks ago, I was disappointed to find that there were no buds on the trees (that I could see, anyway). There were just the papery-thin leaves on one kind of tree, making a rustling sound in the breeze.

(The leaves looked a bit like butterfly chrysalises--chrysali?--hanging in the trees.)

(Um, Dexter? That's kind of a giant walking stick...)

Lots of browns, greys, and gold all around us, and though I find winter colors beautiful in their own way, I'm kind of looking forward to everything around us greening up. Within a couple days of our walk, it snowed overnight, complete with ice to scrape off the windows. Drat.

But then a few days after that, the temperatures snuck up ever so slightly, and I spied a couple things that made me hopeful: crocuses in a neighbor's yard!

(Just as I took these photos, the neighbor whose yard this is arrived home; we traded enthusiastic appreciations: finally, color in the garden!)

And the next day: our very own crocuses opened to the light!

(Here are our first happy yellow flowers, poking through the winter-drab flower beds...)

And that day I saw a sure sign that warm weather must be coming: the turkey vultures are back!

(Their wobbly wheeling in the sky made me smile out loud!)

Our daffodil and tulip leaves have been growing, and finally on Monday, the first few (on the east side of the house) started to open up.

On my walks home the past two weeks, the weather was pretty chilly, but I was seeing sure signs of spring here and there. Monday afternoon I found some tree buds:

Beautiful and hopeful! And brand new! So today's snow was a bit disappointing.

I had to remind myself of a couple things. First, there's the saying I've heard repeated in Ohio each spring: after the forsythia bloom, we have three snows. Today's snow is the second, so there's just one more left. I can hang on for one more, right?

And, because I've been reading Reya's posts on spring, I am reminded that birth is a struggle, like a chick having to peck its way out of a shell, as she points out, or a shoot breaking through a seed cover. (Reya didn't mention this, but childbirth was sure difficult, too! And it's really, really hard on the person being born!) So even as I'm cheerfully noticing signs of new growth, I can also give respect to the effort that process takes, and wait patiently for it to happen as it's supposed to.

Hang in there! Spring is coming, despite the snow.



  1. I'm coming to Cleveland for the weekend and I was hoping it was going to be warm and sunny and spring-like! I'm sorry to see there is going to be snow in the forecast! But we will have a good time regardless. Wish I could make it down to OWU!

  2. Good Morning Hankashi Karen, THanks for sharing the buds of spring, soon to be green grass. I remember the first time I went on a vision quest, with Rudy Runs Above on the first day of autumn 1990. I was going up to pray on the bluffs overlooking the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant, and he talked about being alive for the coming of the green grass of spring. I still continue to be alive and grateful for each day. He passed the next year as well as the other medicine man, Joe Eagle Elk, tehanshi Joe, who lived in the blue house on the sun dance grounds. Grateful for the connection to both of those men, and
    to you and others who come to continue to support the circle of life in a good way. Wichozani wo wookiya, one day at a time! Great photos of Dexter and the coming of spring. The red buds and dogwoods will follow soon. All the best, Mitakuye Oyasin...