Springtime Snow and Sad Days

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This post originally appeared on the author’s blog on May 21, 2019.

Yep. It snowed.

Quite a bit, actually. Summer break starts on Friday, the community pools open on Monday, and we are in several inches of snow in Colorado. It’s all Facebook can talk about. We are a whole city irritated.

The tree limbs all look so defeated today. All bent over, hanging low, burdened.

No, I didn’t plan on wearing a blanket pashmina today. But this is where we find ourselves.

Oddly, I have a tender place in my heart for springtime snow days.

A friend and I were talking recently about my most delusional blogging moment so many years ago, when I announced that I had Finished Grieving. I had crossed a finish line, I had left the sadness behind, and how wonderful it was that I had done it so well and so intentionally, since that must be the key to finishing sadness. We recalled how sure I was, and we laughed and laughed. Because as all the seasoned reader predicted, just three days later, I had to post a great retraction: Just kidding, readers. I’m not done.

Springtime in Colorado is like that. You think you’re done with winter, and then – bam! Winter. Snow. Boots. Mittens. Gray.

I learned this as I travailed through my own yellow brick road of The Great Sadness. They call them stages, like it’s linear. But the emotions are far more like a rubber band ball, where everything overlaps and spills into something else. You can try to find the pattern, but there really isn’t one. There is neither a pattern nor a finish line.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I have shown such a vested interest in the buds of springtime, but this season they have captured my heart.

We had a full week of sunshine, kites, bike riding, and emerging freckles last week, and those sweet little buds thought it was safe to come out—nearly a full month before they usually do. March can be deceiving in her lamb-like days, but April is statistically Colorado’s snowiest month. And May even brings a doozy now and then. Sure enough, along came a blast of cold, frost, and snow.

I found myself actually worrying about the lovely blossoms in all their courage and tenacity. I confess I’ve always found a strangeness in people who take responsibility for weather and nature. I’ve often thought it was wasted energy. What can you do about the rain, snow, or sunshine? Why worry your pretty little head about it? And yet here I was, opening my blinds first thing in the morning to see how they had fared. One day later, after a battle with blustering wind and an inch of snow, the spring flowers have kept their grip. They’ve held on tight.

Grief and recovery are much like springtime in Colorado. Spring doesn’t arrive overnight, but it seems to battle against winter for its place in the sun. Cold days show up unexpectedly, biting the noses off the flowers and hiding joy behind the clouds. Perhaps this is why I have cared so much about the flowers this year; there may be some projecting going on here. I see my own courage, tenacity, and fragility in those blossoms.

-And Life Comes Back

Springtime snow can make you think the warm days have lost their momentum. It can feel like one step forward, two steps back. Hello, February. And here I had thought it was May.

Gray days can make you can think you’ve lost your stride. But it’s all part of the healing.

Spring never arrives on the same day, year after year.

But it always, always comes back.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Tricia Lott Williford
Tricia Lott Williford

You’ve been reading with Tricia Lott Williford, author of You Can Do This and Just. You. Wait. This post originally appeared on the author’s blog. Follow the links above to engage further or read the first chapters for free.

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