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crocusWinters are long here. So, so long. We have our first frost no later than mid-September. The ice goes out on the lake sometime in May (May 1, this year, was very early). In between, it is beautiful. It is white and frozen and stark and windswept and still and wild and cold. It is often very, very cold–I once photographed the thermometer resting comfortably at -40°F.

And it is dark. At the solstice, before the trend shifts back to lengthening days, we are lucky to have 8 hours of daylight. On cloudy or stormy days, there’s much less. And though we love it, it’s a long haul.dog in the sun

Those long stretches of cold and dark wear on us sometimes. We feel hopeless and isolated, tired of the same four (small) walls and the company of the same people each day. Sometimes, we doubt that spring ever will come. lake opening

And yet, come it does, with mud and robins and crocus blossoms and yearling moose in the roads and loons crying at night. And eventually, we get the heat, the green grass, the leaves on the trees, and the black flies (ugh!). Every spring, it seems to me, is sweeter than the last. Every spring, we walk out the door, open our arms, and welcome it, embrace it, hold it close. We all lose our minds a little when we see daffodil buds, feel mud between our toes, watch the chickadees building a nest in the hole in the birch tree. After all that long dark cold, our sweet spring is that much sweeter when it comes.balance bikebeating the rugsfirst ice cream conestumptie-dye boy

This week, we’ve enjoyed glorious weather and unseasonable temperatures. Yesterday, when a store clerk told me to enjoy the beautiful weather, I answered, “How can you not?”

Indeed, how can you not?