I don’t want to jinx us, but… it seems that Spring is finally here, at last!
I teased myself this past weekend. I travelled to Paris (Ontario) for a workshop. Driving through Michigan, I saw people out playing golf in Gaylord — with snow still in the bunkers and shady spots.
Further south, around Flint, there were plenty of golfers in shirtsleeves, and no snow!
In Paris I got to go outside in shirtsleeves, wishing I had brought shorts and annals with me. I watched, literally, as buds were opening on the trees, and flowers opening on the forest floor and in gardens.
Of course, driving back on Sunday was the reverse of heading down, as not-yet-melted pockets of snow began appearing along the edge of the I-75. Getting back to the Sault I noticed that there was considerably less snow than when I left, but it was a bit disappointing, still, to see it wasn’t completely gone.
But, welcome to “Spring” in Sault Ste Marie.
For me, it has been a long winter. A very long winter.
I spent far too much time indoors, and got far less exercise than I should have. Judging by which notch I am using on my belt, I may have put on a kilogram or two, as well.
This was underscored when I was assigned a room in the “Chalet” at the conference centre — at the bottom of a 15-metre hill, accessed by a series of stairs and sloped pathways.
Let’s just say that my legs still ache.
However, Spring is emerging nicely. There still aren’t the buds showing as they were in Southern Ontario, but this warmer weather will surely have them bursting forth in short order.
While many of us bemoan the later arrival of Spring — later then the past few years, at any rate — I believe all of us in the “northern climes” just accept that we’re a week or three behind more southerly areas.
But the signs of Spring are upon us:
• The City is busily tending to street cleaning, with crews out all hours of the day and night in various areas.
• Bicycles (and E-bikes) are becoming a more common sight on our roadways.
• Young people are rolling along on skateboards.
• Motorcycles are again taking to the roads.
• Bird species not seen since last summer are returning.
Soon it will be shorts and T-shirt weather (for some, it already is).
I am always at a loss to answer the question, “What is your favourite season?”
Certainly Spring ranks high, for me. I love watching the greening happen, and flowers emerging. I love being able to shed heavy winter jackets and bare my arms and legs.
Summer, however, has it’s own benefits, too. It is even warmer than Spring (some argue it can be too hot), and more activities become available, like swimming.
Autumn, too, has its appeal; warm days and cool nights, fewer insects, and a glorious riot of fall colours.
I appreciate those who enjoy winter far more than I do: skiers and snowmobilers and other winter sports enthusiasts. Certainly it is good that there are people who do like winter, for it would seem a far longer season than it does if we all hated it.
But while I do enjoy the beauty of a bright, crisp winter’s day, I cannot say that I enjoy winter.
I would have to say that, for me, Spring edges out the other seasons, slightly. Perhaps it is because it is the emergence from the dull, drab and far too cold winter; the re-birth of the warmer seasons seems to harken to my Celtic roots.
We re lucky here, too. While the Goulais is currently at risk of flooding — an annual dilemma — there is very little worry about flooding in general for the Sault and area.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be living in the “Cottage Country” region around Huntsville and Bracebridge, or anywhere in southern Manitoba, where extensive flooding is a common occurrence.
And while Spring and Summer may seem too short, for us, we can at least take heart in knowing that the likelihood of tornadoes and severe summer storms is reasonably low.
All in all, Springtime in the Sault is pretty darn nice.
But… that’s just my opinion.