As I was slip-sliding my way from the car to my house the other day, I started thinking about how much I couldn’t wait to see green again. I don’t hate the winter like many people — despite the dry skin, shoveling, and general inconvenience — and I can not imagine living in a place that did not have four distinct seasons. As I was cursing the ice, I was thinking about my favorite flower: the tulip.
I associate the tulip with the beginning of Spring. Sure, the crocus comes up first but it’s so low to the ground it’s easy to miss. The tall, showy tulip is out of its element in Connecticut — that’s for sure — but for me, it screams SPRING IS HERE.
The beauty of Spring isn’t just its actual beauty. Of course it’s lovely to see birds come back, flowers bloom, and trees fill in. But it wouldn’t be nearly so dreamy, at least to me, if I hadn’t just lived through a cold, barren winter.
I have a friend who moved to California a few years back, and he almost instantly became a “convert” — a once grumpy man could not stop talking about how wonderful his new life was. The idea of living in a place where it’s always 65-85 degrees sounds nice, but basically makes me want to scream. Sure, I hole up in my house during the winter like millions of other people. But I also head out to walk dogs a few times a week at my local pound — weather permitting — and find myself enjoying the winter in a way I haven’t since I was a kid, when a snow storm meant a day off from school and sledding. But on that first 50 degree, sunny day after this long, harsh winter I will barely be able to stay inside. I will open my windows and doors, and I will find any reason to be outside.
I don’t ever want to take all this beauty around me for granted. And it’s easier to remember that when it’s taken away from you.