Smelling Springtime

It is strange to me, how much nostalgia the shifting weather brings. The wind kicks up leaves that were trapped beneath snow as the sun removes their icy tombs. When I step outside, it’s as if I can smell the approaching change of seasons. Memories of past days in the warmer, sunnier outdoors mingle with anticipation for new ones.

In Nebraska, where I live, we call this “false spring.” And every year, when the chill inevitably wanes far too early, I fall for it like a sailor to a siren. I can’t help but step outside without a winter coat and feel myself nearly giddy with joy. Perhaps we will have a few more cold snaps, maybe even another snowfall or two. Then everyone will complain, and wonder when spring is going to come.

But I like these little pockets of spring. Hardly any time left at all of winter, yet nature still delights us with the gift of sunny days. Our bodies, after we endured an early January of negative windchills, find that forty degrees Fahrenheit is quite balmy. The same temperature at Easter will undoubtedly find me shivering and refusing to go outside… aren’t we funny creatures?

I think that’s why I’ve always loved where the seasons hinge together. The thawing of winter into spring, the first sunburn of summer, the reprieve of the fall breeze, and the dainty snowflakes of winter’s first storm. The change is welcome. The change is movement. As each season progresses, it is easy to forget what came before it, and more importantly, what will come after. Winter is difficult that way. The cold settles into your bones, and you forget what it’s like to feel the sun warm your face. Wind with all its biting bitterness, seems like it could never again caress your face with the gentleness of spring or summer.

But where winter begins to give way to spring, the reminder of hope is in the air. Even down to the smell of the thawing earth. When I close my eyes and drink it in, the nostalgia hits me. No matter how long winter’s icy chill seems to linger, spring always comes.


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