Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflections on this season of spring in Minnesota March 29, 2021

In this file photo, snow edges the patio as I’m about to hang laundry on the clothesline in early spring.

WHEN I STEP OUTSIDE to hang sheets and towels on the clothesline, I feel such gratitude for the arrival of spring in southern Minnesota. Winter gets long in these parts.

Crocuses are in full bloom in my front yard flowerbed.

I long for sunshine and blue skies and more light than darkness. Birds tweeting. Crocuses unfolding and tulips stretching above the earth. And no more freezing my fingers while hanging laundry in the morning. Early spring brings all of those.

Laundry on my clothesline. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

I love hanging laundry outside. The rhythm of pulling items from the laundry basket then clipping and repeating soothes me. The physical task gives pause in my day, reconnects me with generations of women who did the same, connects me to nature via the warmth of the sun and the music of birds.

And then, when I reverse the task in the afternoon and carry the air-dried laundry indoors, I breathe in the scent of nature. The air of spring.

A biker swings his bike onto Minnesota State Highway 60/Fourth Street past the Rice County Courthouse on a recent warm spring afternoon.

For others, spring signals biking season. And plenty of bikers have been out and about. Some even earlier, in winter.

My grandson hopscotching in his two-year-old way.

And the kids, oh, the kids. Taking them outside is so much easier with no snowpants or snowboots to pull on. Randy and I played with our grandkids in the driveway of their home last weekend with Izzy circling on her bike and Isaac jumping, rather than hopping, on chalked hopscotch squares. Then we headed to the neighborhood park with Izzy zooming ahead on her bike and me pushing her brother in the stroller, trying to keep up, but failing. At the playground, we pushed both kids in the swings with Isaac calling for “higher.”

Always the first flower of spring in my yard. The beautiful crocus.

How wonderful this time with our grandkids. To be in the moment. To feel their joy. To watch them soar and climb. To hear them laugh. To experience their delight. I feel blessed in this season of life.

TELL ME about your joyful spring moments.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


8 Responses to “Reflections on this season of spring in Minnesota”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Laundry dried on the line has the best smell! Breathe in deeply. Your post brings Robert Louis Stevenson poem, The Swing, to mind. Playing with grandkids is wonderful. I like seeing the green shoots come up through the earth. The colorful blossoms and the beginning of new green buds on tree branches, too. Happy Spring, Audrey.

    • Happy spring to you also, Ruth. Thanks for sharing what you most appreciate about spring.

      As I write, laundry dries on the line. The sun shines. The wind blows a strong breeze. And the temp is expected to reach nearly 70 today, before dropping to a low of 23 in a day or two. Ah, Minnesota weather.

  2. Wonderful things happen in spring – but the best part is the grandchildren visiting. 🙂

  3. I love the scent of laundry that was hung outside! Especially my sheets! ❤

  4. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    We have so many of the same joys….hanging our clothes, grandkids and yes, my Crocuses are blooming too. Your photo’s are beautiful. I hear the joy in your words, I’m happy Spring is here for you…and me 🙂

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