Welcome, Fickle Spring!

tulips in a snowLet’s face it. Spring is as fickle as a junior high girlfriend. With other seasons you pretty much know what to expect. Stereotypically, summer will be warm and sunny. Fall will be golden and cool. Winter will be frigid and blustery. But spring? She’s just unpredictable and flighty.

Of course the characterization of spring depends on where you live in this geographically diverse country of ours. When I was a coed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, at the first hint of spring in March my friends and I donned last summer’s swimsuits and went up on the roof of the dorm to get started on our suntans. We applied copious amounts of iodine and baby oil and put sheets of aluminum foil under our chins to reflect the rays. (This tanning strategy is why most dermatologist offices are now populated with aging Baby Boomers dealing with the consequences of such spring folly!)

Now that I live in Colorado, I’m used to March being the month when we see our biggest accumulations of snow. Yet this month can unexpectedly throw in a day so warm and sunny that the college coeds of today go skiing in their bikinis! (And spring skiing is simply the best.)

We don’t expect spring to settle in and sustain herself in April around here either. My husband’s birthday is April 30, and I have more than one photo of him shoveling snow on his birthday. But by then hearty crocuses, tulips, and daffodils have begun to break through the ground and amazingly seem to survive the occasional blanket of snow. This is the month spring toys with our emotions until she’s ready to reveal herself in all her glory in May.

Of course I’m not the first writer to note spring’s whimsical nature and inconsistency. Odes and tips of the pen to spring from well-known poets like Keats, Dickinson and Tennyson are replete with observations about both the beauty and the capriciousness of the season. However, perhaps no poem speaks to spring’s determination to tease us as well as this little preschool rhyme:

Some days seem like winter,
Some are nice and warm.
Rainy days and windy days,
Maybe it will storm.
Warm or cold or wet or dry,
What will the weather be?
I think Spring is trying to play
Peek-a-boo with me!

However long spring dallies with your emotions this year, find joy in the gentle rains, the bird songs, the warm breezes, the green sprouts, the resilient blossoms, and yes, even the moist snow. Take the advice of fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer who said, “Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.”


  1. good one! this was the hardest season for this Louisiana girl…looks warmer than it is!!

  2. Jan Keller says:

    Your second sentence is Phenominal!!! Just had to tell you! 😉

  3. Ben Ross says:

    Nancy, Spring has always announced herself to me not so much by what she reveals but rather by the emotions she arouses in me.It is the revery,in my heart, the excitement in my mind, and the balm upon my skin. It is the promise of an awakening corner of my world, and new life, As many places as I have been, nothing exceeds in East Tennessee so much as the halting arrival of Spring. Your aticles always evkoke memories of home. Thank you for continuing to share your literary gift.

    • You are so welcome, Ben. And YES, spring in East Tennessee is spectacular. My husband decided long ago it was better to send me there in the spring than to hear me complain about the lack of green in Colorado for the next two months!

  4. I love this Robert Frost opening line:
    Nature’s first green is gold.

  5. Jim Brummett says:

    Looking forward to our first Spring in our new abode! Love your gift for words.

  6. Elizabeth Van Liere says:

    I agree with Jim Brummett. I too love your gift with words and appreciate your sharing them with us. Betty.

  7. As fickle as a junior high girlfriend ~ I love it, Nancy! And in Colorado it certainly does describe our spring weather. But in Kansas when we were with my mom three weeks ago, on the same day we were watching the blowing snow through her living room window, on TV they were showing the tornado watch 50 miles away.
    Ah, Spring!

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