Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In spring thoughts turn

Easter was late this year. Thank God it came or else we might not have known it is spring! Here, in Tioga County Pennsylvania, we have had rain, rain and more rain for weeks. This overabundance of water following a winter of snow, snow and more snow. I keep many lights on in the house to convince myself that the long, dark days of winter really, truly are past.

The first two years I lived in Pennsylvania must have drought years. There was rain and snow at appropriate times - and even a bit of snow too early in the winter or too late when we should have been celebrating spring, but nothing prepared me for all this wet stuff! Me, a person from high mountain desert country where 12 inches of moisture each year is normal and 16 is something to be concerned about, especially because rain comes in deluges and snow in blizzards. Nothing prepared me for a climate where the number of inches (or quarter inches as in Colorado weather details) of rain are not reported on the nightly news! My neighbor has a rain gauge but he keeps the totals to himself unless, on a visit around the neighborhood, he needs a conversation starter. As a resident of this verdant country, I now own a rain wardrobe: rubber boots (multi-colored stripe), a red rain coat, a blue rain jacket and three umbrellas that are bright and cheery (yellow, green & multi).

The rainy days have produced trees that swell with new spring life. When I travel, I notice bare branches with about-to-burst buds on every street and back road. Once frozen waterfalls now tumble down onto roadways offering sparkling drops when the sun peeks through clouds. I find myself squishing (in my multi-colored boots) through my yard to see what plants wintered over, which are almost ready to bloom and which need a bit more sun to burst forth. Being outside gives me hope.

Since Easter morning - last Sunday - our rain seems to have multiplied. We look at the skies trying to anticipate when the sun will shine for more than just a few minutes. Weather forecast says this Saturday is a day we should look for -- warmer, sunny - humid? How is that for timing? I am expecting to participate in a 5K - doing it in the sun would be so nice. I hope to smell fragrant flowers lining the streets, hear a variety of birds cheering us along and see crowds of people (well, maybe not crowds) waving as we go by - perhaps wishing they too had spent the last winter months training for some foot races to keep us out-of-doors during sunny days.

Yup, spring must be almost here. The God-signs - the Easter signs of new life - are everywhere.

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