SPRING IN MINNESOTA brings depth to the landscape. A richness of color. Months of grey and brown fade, replaced by pops of vibrant hues in spring flowers, by vivid blue skies, by bursts of green in leafing trees.
My backyard shows all those signs of spring. As I hang laundry on the line on an April morning with a lingering nip of cold, the sun shines bright. The shrill voice of cardinals pierces through the steady noise of traffic.
Around the corner, next to the house foundation, 18 red and yellow tulips await the shifting of the sun. Soon they will “open their mouths,” as my now 30-something daughter assessed as a toddler.
In the same flowerbeds, ferns rise from the earth. Soon to fill the space, to wave in the wind with a rhythm that seems poetically beautiful.
Hostas erupt in clusters of green leaves that will eventually spread wide.
And in three spots along the fence, bleeding hearts emerge, buds already forming on one plant.
This week has proven hard on plants with morning temps in the 20s. Tulip heads and bleeding heart buds drooped, bowing to the cold. They’ve since rebounded.
The reality of spring in Minnesota is fickle. One day sunshine and warmth, the next snow flurries and cold. I never quite trust, even in April and into early May, that winter has exited. We’ve experienced May snowstorms and certainly plenty in April. Snow shovels remain at the ready.
But for today, I believe in spring. I see it. Overhead in the greening of trees against the blue sky. Below in the push of plants through the cold soil. And in my spirit, I feel a renewed sense of optimism, a joyfulness that comes in this season of hanging laundry on the line with the sun beaming bright.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling