My son sees the signs and says it first, “It’s Spring!” I reply as any prudent adult would, tempering his optimism, preemptively dampening the blow of a potential mid-March snowstorm. “It seems like spring; the snow is melting and birds are starting to sing, but there is still snow and it is still winter. It might snow again—who knows?”
I reflect on this interaction as we repeat it several times. Am I being prudent? Am I just adopting the habits of Norwegians? I remember the first gorgeous summer weather last June when temperatures allowed the seasons first swim in the lake. I listened to strangers, coming out of the water, saying, “Isn’t this amazing? Enjoy it while you can, who knows—we may have rain next week!”
It is true the weather here is highly unpredictable. And really, all of life is highly unpredictable. I suspect it is human to brace ourselves for disappointment. We have a tendency to stave off the fear of loss by stealing sorrow from tomorrow. Yet the dark side of this realism is missing what is right in front of us. Does reveling in the joyful sunshine of today really make tomorrow’s snowstorm that much worse? I reflect on this a while and I think I know the truth.
So I stop when I see the coral sunset lighting the silhouette of dark pines. I breathe and soak up the beauty through my eyes. I alert my son to the birdsong we hear at the breakfast table. I scoot his chair to the window and show him the hot pink hues of sunlight tinting the sky. We watch as dark outlines of birds fly across the horizon and land on trees or fly out of view.
My sons refrain these days has changed to a question, “Is it Spring?” Often he answers himself, “No, it’s still winter.” He has learned prudence too quickly. So I say, “But it sure does feel like spring!” And I hope he sees me taking it in, truly sensing what each day offers. Because these are the moments in front of us and right now, at least, they are beautiful.