As readers of this blog already know, I feign the endurance required to survive a Minnesota winter. We moved here to escape west coast urban sprawl, but we were unprepared for the challenges of mid-continental life. Twenty years later I still consider myself a foreigner in this place. I lack the childhood connections that bind me to a community, and have no deep seeded memories of fun in the cold. To this day, Minnesota is enigmatic to me, and I am an enigma to it. So, I fake it. Like the lover who fakes “it” for her love, I fake my pleasure for sub-arctic walks, frigid temperatures, and making art when it hurts. I say that I enjoy short days, blistering winds, and winter photography, but I lie in order to fool myself. I lie to pass the time.
The Vernal Equinox is what I love about Minnesota. March 20th is both the end of winter and the end of my lies. While March and April can be wildly unpredictable, they do signal an end. Winter is ephemeral, a fact that is not evident in January. Winter makes us stronger and better than our fellow countrymen, this is the lie Minnesotans tell to justify their existence here.
Fortunately for me, winter is not a circle that lacks a discrete beginning or end, it is a vector. It is initiated on the solstice and points to the equinox. It is spring today and it rained. I walked Sequoia and stepped on earthworms slithering across the asphalt. As I smashed these writhing exotics with my sandaled feet, I listened to the bluebirds calling to future mates and watched a heron fly overhead. While it may snow tomorrow, it is April 2nd today, and I now know that the snow will melt.
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