Even though winter here in the northern hemisphere has officially more than a month to go, here in Iowa, we are getting a break from the cold. In fact it was so warm this weekend that people went out without the need of a jacket. And some even wore shorts.
Yesterday I saw flocks of geese in their majestic V-formation flying northward, which means they are coming back home. I saw children playing at the park. And even the bikers were out cruising down the road. These are definitely not a February scene. Not in Iowa anyway.
February here is usually one of our coldest months, with the average temperature of 20-30’s Fahrenheit, and can even dipped down to the single digits or even below zero degree Fahrenheit. We should still be subfreezing at this time and we should still be buried in snow. Yet the pile of snow at the side of our driveway from last week’s snow storm, have all melted away. We are experiencing close to summer-like temperature today.
I should not be complaining, right?
But I know that this warm respite is not going to last that long. Sooner or later, the cold wind will be back, and we’ll be facing the freezing reality again. For the record, there’s a forecast of snowstorm with possibility of several inches of snow accumulation, by the end of this week.
I too joined the multitudes of people who took advantage of this beautiful not-like-winter weather. I went out to run this morning. As I looked around, I could already see some buds coming out from the bare branches of the trees.
However I feel for the trees and plants who may be getting a little confused. Due to the out-of-season weather, the hibernating buds and flowers may be awakened too early by this warm temperature, thinking that it is already spring.
I know few years ago the same thing happened. Too early in the season, it became unseasonable warm. The buds and blossoms sprouted. Only to be frozen and coated with ice, as the cold snap came back. It killed them. That year we did not have much flowers, and in fact there were no cherry blossoms when the real spring came.
That’s what I’m afraid would happen again. A false hope of spring. A promise of warmth that it cannot keep.
I know some of us have experienced those untruthful promises before. Some of us have been given false hope. In my native language we even have a term for that, “pinaasa lang.”
Those empty promises and false hopes killed our buds. It crushed our expectations. But you know what? For the time being, we may have lost our flowers and our trust for humanity. But we learned our lessons. We may have become cynical, but it made us strong. Life continued, and in due time we blossomed once again.
As you might surmised, I am not just talking about the seasons here.
So I am watching this weather with a guarded hope for spring. I wish the plants and the trees are too. I’m definitely not putting away my winter coat yet.
(*photo taken after an ice storm few weeks ago)