Monday, March 24, 2008

A Deceptive Season

Spring in the Bitterroot is really beautiful. White cottonball clouds float across a clear blue sky. The trees begin to bud. The first shoots of crocus and daffodil push through the soft earth.

Looking out the window, the outside beckons. The grey chill of winter has passed and the sunshine comes in waves, the clouds briefly casting shadows as they are blown by the gentle wind.

But all too often, it is a bold-faced lie.

It was freezing today. Although the ground has been completely thawed for weeks, save an occasional early morning frost, the air was downright chilly. The gentle breeze, as it appeared to be from inside the house, was actually a biting cold wind coming in bone-chilling gusts.

It's all so deceptive, and I fall for it every year.

Elli worked in the yard for much of the day today. She scoured the property for large rocks, some so big she struggled to lift them. She carried them, wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full, to Grandma's garden, setting them around the edges in a pretty little border. She sings and dances while she works, of course, and she just looked so cheery out there. I was anxious to finish my housework so I could get out into that lovely fresh air and cheerful sunshine myself.

So I did. I walked outside in my sweater and jeans to make a phone call, and it hit me: Elli was working hard, very hard for a seven-year old. She wasn't cold at all, the chilly air feeling just brisk and invigorating to her. But it was freezing out there. As the phone call became lengthy, I had to rotate the hand I held the phone with, jamming the other into my pocket. I wished for a nifty Bluetooth headset. I marched laps around the yard, trying to get the blood pumping, knowing our best cell reception is outdoors. By the time I hung up, I had enjoyed the phone call, but was chilled through.

Later this afternoon, we set up an egg hunt in the yard for the kids--a little late, we know, but chocolate is chocoalte. We always create a fairly challenging hunt, then sit outside to cheer them on as they struggle through their search. This time, however, I had to resort to wearing a knit cap and woolen mittens to get through the spectator portion of the event. Eventually, I gave up altogether, yelling a few hints to the baffled kids, then retreating to the warmth of the house to start making dinner.

Now, when it's January and the sun is shining and a breeze is blowing like this, I instinctively bundle up with several layers before I try to go outside. I expect bitter cold and then am pleasantly surprised, as the extreme dry cold is not often a terrible shock to the system.

But this is different. I expect mild and pleasant and instead get the damp chill of Spring. And I fall for it every time!

1 comment:

alison said...

But did you have the sun, my friend?