March Messes With My Feelings
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March Messes With My Feelings

In the Midwest, there is no neat divide between winter and spring.

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March Messes With My Feelings
Sophie Katz

The other day, I looked out the back door of my house and saw tiger lily sprouts poking out of a thick layer of snow. Despite their frigid surroundings, the plants were bright green and healthy-looking. It seemed to me like spring and winter were coexisting in my backyard, serving as a small-scale example of how the Midwest has handled the transition between those two seasons this year. For the past couple months, we have alternated cold weeks and warm weeks, sunny days poking out between snowy days. On one recent beautiful day, as I walked across campus in nothing warmer than a hoodie, I found myself wondering when the birds would return from their southern vacation to enjoy the warmth here. On the day immediately following, it was windy and freezing, but despite this, the air was full of birdsong everywhere I went. It seemed ironic.

I have lived in Illinois and Iowa my whole life, so March has always conflicted with my expectations and messed with my feelings. I am an optimist who has never enjoyed cold weather, so a sunny day or a newly-sprouted flower gets me hoping for the end of winter temperatures. Yet, neither a yellow, sunny day nor a pretty green flower sprout is truly a promise of spring in March. Garfield the cat sums it up nicely here:

Curse you, March, indeed, for getting my hopes up.

The way the weather skips around in March makes me worry. I worry about the birds that might return north to find an inhospitable landscape. I worry about the tiger lilies, which might not look so healthy if a worse frost occurs. I worry about redbuds, my favorite trees, and whether they’ll be able to bloom this year. I worry about people without reliable roofs to return to every night, who have much more reason to be worried about a surprise return to winter weather than I do. I worry about whether the weird weather patterns are a symptom of global climate change, or a reasonable fluctuation given my location and how temperamental its temperatures tend to be.

(Yeah, I’m a bleeding heart. I saw a rabbit in my backyard, too, and it totally made my day.)

But I am writing this article on a day when the sun is out and warming the air and I didn’t really need my winter coat when I left the house, so it’s hard to worry too much. Warm weather is good for my mood. The hints that spring – an uninterrupted spring – is just around the corner lift my spirits, even though I know from experience that this Midwestern March is fickle and just as likely to take me back to winter for another week.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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