Journeys: An Ode to Spring

Thoughts on dressing for the weather, telling Mother Nature to shape up, and enjoying spring as it comes
Close up of dirty rainboots in spring

Adobe Stock/Budimir Jevtic

I don’t think there’s anything quite so exhilarating as watching the final snow melt for the season. In Minnesota, though, it’s never quite clear as to when that will happen. Will Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions come true? Will winter persist? Will spring forge ahead?

I definitely adopt the philosophy of “fake it ‘til you make it” when it comes to weather and what I choose to wear during these spring months. My logic is as follows: If I wear a sundress and pretend it’s warm enough to do so, the weather will shape up.

I’m serious. Mother Nature will feel my confidence and grace us with more sunshine and warmer days. I also make a point to put away my winter coat after the first day of spring. Not because I don’t need it, but because I’m determined to tough it out. Because one day I’ll realize I haven’t needed it for weeks. And that we finally made it. So yes, you can thank my determination for your spring weather! It’s my calculated version of the “dad wearing cargo shorts and sandals in just-above-freezing temperatures,” but maybe just a little cuter.

I grew up on a hobby farm in southwest Minnesota, and it wasn’t spring unless I got my rain boots stuck in a muddy, water-filled ditch while playing adventure games with my siblings. The mud usually won (I 100 percent went deeper than I should have), and I had to walk back up my gravel road, wet and shivering, with mud all over my white tights. Sure, I was cold and dirty, but just a few weeks ago I was cold and snowy, and I always preferred the former. I’m sure my mother had a different opinion.

My family still lives on the same hobby farm, and I love making the trek out there after the snow melts. Nothing is green yet, but I can imagine how beautiful it’s going to look when our white lilac tree blooms and our woods erupt in light green buds.

I’m obviously older now, and my younger brothers, Jesse (7) and Jonny (5) spend their afternoons playing in the mud and water while I have begun appreciating the fact that city living means I don’t get as muddy. Right now, I’m wearing my first spring outfit of the year, on a 55-degree March afternoon, drinking an afternoon coffee with my mother on our front patio. It’s sunny with a slightly chilly breeze. Next week, it will probably be snowing. But no matter what the next month holds, one day I’ll wake up to green leaves, warm breezes, and summer weather. I’ll wonder how we finally got here and then I’ll remember: It was definitely that one sundress I wore in mid-March.