Springing ahead

Daylight Saving Time occurred nearly two weeks ago. Springing ahead caused the usual increase in traffic accidents, longer lines at coffee shops, and an increase in the number of creatures confused by the earlier arrival of the strange speeding metal capsules resulting in unfortunate outcomes. Even the weather in the Twin Cities took a cue and sprang ahead from a colder than normal February to a more seasonal March.

Yesterday was the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Twin Cities, the vernal equinox occurred at approximately 5:45 pm CDT, which my buddy and I toasted with a strawberry daiquiri. The forecast high of 60°F fell short a few degrees, and a breeze and moderate overcast ensured we would not be having dinner at the restaurant’s outdoor patio. There was no snow on the ground, no need for a jacket heavier than a windbreaker, and convertibles outnumbered rusty winter beaters by a wide margin in the parking lot. It was still a great day, made even better with enjoyable company, intelligent conversation, and a lot of laughter.

Springing ahead was not just limited to Daylight Saving Time. A few people are springing ahead with new jobs, new cars, and new places to live. Good news is always appreciated and I wish them the best of luck! There are rumors of my 40 year high school reunion happening this year, confirming significant springing ahead of the calendar. Orange cone and blue language season is under way with several major highways experiencing confused drivers and delays, though it beats road salt and snowplow season.

This year, winter took a vacation early, though it might come back for an unwelcome visit Sunday evening. Even if the 2″ – 6″ of snow predicted for Sunday afternoon and evening occurs, it will melt quickly. There is no sharp cool down following the storm. The moisture from the snow melt might get the bulbs springing ahead. Looking at the positive signs, lawns are looking more green than brown, people are tapping their silver and sugar maple trees for sap, trees and shrubs have leaf buds that are getting bigger by the day, birds have started their mating rituals, and the ground temperature is almost warm enough to plant bulbs. In a seven-day period, the temperature difference between the coldest night and warmest day was almost 80°F, swinging from -7°F to 70°F. The Minnesota River is mostly clear of ice as it runs through Bloomington. I have even managed several long walks and a couple of short bicycle rides. Last year and the year before, those activities could not occur before May.

We all wish we could spring ahead through the tough times. The forty years since I have graduated form high school have gone by quickly, yet the three years since Lucy died have seemed endless. Both time periods overlap, yet there are two different perceptions of the overlapping interval. Having a wonderfully supportive group of close friends whom I love dearly is so important. They have helped me keep moving forward. If you know someone going though tough times, reach out to them and offer moral support. It is a wonderful feeling being on both the giving and receiving side of that kind of compassion.

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