Saturday Single No. 63

Originally posted March 22, 2008

As she often does, Nature played a joke on folks here this week. The vernal equinox passed on Thursday, and we marked the beginning of spring with a fairly warm day – temperatures about 40 or so (about 4 degrees Celsius) – and it was sunny enough that the three cats here lay in the sunshine coming through the southern windows.

Outside, most of the snow cover was gone from the lawn, except near the parking lot, where the huge piles of snow pushed from the lot during the winter were slowly diminishing. Evidence of that was the little streams flowing through the parking lot toward the storm sewer, like spring rivers flowing out of the mountains onto the plains.

I ran a few errands outside, prosaic stuff like taking cans and newspapers to the recycling bins and walking down to the mailbox (hoping that a record ordered last week would have arrived; sadly, it hadn’t), and doing them was certainly more pleasant in the sunshine. It’s not a great distance from the building to the trash/recycling bins or to the mailboxes, but in the depths of winter, when the wind slices in from the northwest, somehow both the bins and the mailboxes seem to be further away. Thursday’s walk – short as it was – was pleasant.

And then the storm blew in. We didn’t get hit badly, like some areas of Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest. The storm went pretty much south of us, and we got around four inches of snow. (An online report from one of the Twin Cities’ television stations says we got 1.7 inches, but it looked like more than that; the city of Chaska, on the southwest edge of the Twin Cities metro area, got 10.5 inches.) And if the forecast is right, and we get sunshine tomorrow and Monday, what little snow we got will melt away quickly.

So it’s not like I’m disheartened or anything. But it’s very typical of Nature to send us a warning like this, telling us that thoughts of springtime, of green grass and budding trees and tulips, are fine, but we shouldn’t forget that for at least a while, those are all hopes and the reality is still chilly. And even though the calendar says it’s spring, it’s entirely possible to have more of the white stuff yet – lots more. I remember more than one end-of-March blizzard.

So I console myself that at least I’m not as discouraged as Jesse Winchester was when he and Robbie Robertson wrote “Snow,” a song from Winchester’s first, self-titled album in 1970, today’s Saturday Single.

Jesse Winchester – “Snow” [1970]

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