A Sweet Northern Spring
Spring comes slowly here in the northland. While one of my sisters is harvesting kumquats in early March in Los Angeles, I’m sitting in my kitchen in Minnesota contemplating the 7-foot icicle dangling from my neighbors’ roof threatening to pierce their porch. When April brings tulips and daffodils to my other sister’s garden in Kansas City, our grass is still lichen-gray, matted from the retreating mounds of snow, holding its breath for the magic of May.
The first signs of spring are the drips, slow at first then gurgling down the downspout outside my bedroom window. But I don’t mind the noise. It’s a reminder that winter is dissolving all around me. First the roofs reappear, then the grass in the very center of the yard, away from the miniature mountains of snow we shoveled off the walk and driveway. Early spring in the north is a time of recession.
Then the real thaw begins, and every day brings a little more color. People appear everywhere, some dressed incongruously in shorts. Fifty degrees never felt so good.
I’m a gardener - a northern gardener – so I take great joy in the first signs of renewed life in the garden. I’m always hesitant to remove the mulch from my roses, afraid one last fearsome freeze is just around the corner. But when I do, I always find new shoots of life sprouting from the protected heart of the plant. I don’t get flowers in May, (I can’t plant bulbs due to an ongoing battle with the bunnies) but the burgeoning flush of green is enough at first. I know the flowers won’t be far behind.
One of the lessons of living in the north is perfecting the art of delayed gratification. Every year the frustration with winter begins to burn in February; but we learn we can make it, we will make it, and spring will be all the sweeter when it finally arrives. Happy Spring!
My current release, Harvest of Dreams, has a gorgeous cover dripping with apple blossoms to celebrate the promise of spring. Please stop by my website at http://www.alisonhenderson.com/ to find out more about the heart-warming story.
Alison Henderson grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie. She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West. She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.
Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots. She and her husband are empty-nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago.