The weather has been a hot topic of conversation lately. Maybe it’s because I live in the midwest. Or is it the upper midwest? I live in Michigan, and a fair portion of the state is technically north of Canada — Ontario, Canada, that is. So do I live in the upper midwest or does one have nothing to do with the other?
Whatever the verdict, we, midwesterners – all of us, whether lower, upper or in between — are currently obsessed with the weather. I suppose, really, we’re always obsessed with the weather because, let’s face it, our weather can change on a dime. Every state in the midwest considers the phrase, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for ten minutes” to be its personal motto.
That being said, of late, we are even more obsessed than usual. Why? Well, daylight savings time started this past weekend, and in the midwest, daylight savings time is to spring what Memorial weekend is to summer. The unofficial start. Just as we fully expect it to be warm enough to go swimming and camping during the last weekend of May, so too we expect it to be warm enough to at least shed our coats, after the second weekend of March. I mean come on, It’s March, for crying out loud. It’s been winter since forever.
It’s supposed to be warming up. March is normally known as “Mud Month.” There should be crocuses blooming, grape hyacinth poking through the barely thawed soil. If there is any snow left, it’s the dirty, gray remnants of the massive snow piles in the parking lots of shopping centers and malls.
The snowdrops should have been blooming for weeks by now. Tulip tips pushing through the shredded leaves that we used as mulch last fall — a lifetime ago. The forsythia buds should be near to bursting. All the fruit tree blossoms — oh my, what a display they make in the spring.
The season of rebirth. Promise. Hope. Dreams. Or maybe that’s my creative side coming out… (check out this blog if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html).
Except wait… There’s still a couple feet of snow on the ground. In some places, it’s even more than that. Significantly more. There are no crocuses, no tulip tips teasing us. The giant maple tree next door is still dormant. I haven’t seen grass or soil in months. Heck, I haven’t seen my driveway in months, despite the nearly weekly, sometimes more snowplowing sessions. My poor dog can’t get over the snowbanks to do his business properly (actually, that makes for some serious daily amusement — and easy cleanup, frankly. But I digress…).
So it’s March. Daylight savings time. Practically the middle of March. And winter still has us solidly in his throes. Odd, but I feel a story coming on. A competition between the seasons? Gods or some other mythical creatures, based on each season? Humans caught in the crosshairs? Hmmm…Maybe this never-ending winter isn’t such a bad thing after all. It’s an excuse to stay inside and write — and it’s giving me some serious inspiration.
I think I’ll go write now. Somebody tap me on the shoulder when summer decides to make an appearance, okay?