Frog knocked at Toad’s door.
“Toad, wake up,” he cried. “Come out and see how wonderful the winter is!”
“I will not,” said Toad. “I am in my warm bed.”
“Winter is beautiful,” said Frog. “Come out and have fun.” –Arnold Lobel
(Don’t tell anyone…but I really like these spring snow storms.)
The reason I like them is twofold: 1) I like surprises and 2) I think spring snow creates awesome possibilities.
First, just like any meteorologist, there are often flaws in our weather reports. A forecast of 1-3 inches occasionally gives us less than half an inch—or we will get over a foot. So, for me, it is better to not tut and worry over the impending Snowpocalypse, and just hop out of bed in the morning, open the blinds and say, “WOW!” And the morning after a big snow in Colorado is almost ALWAYS worthy of a wow…and sometimes a big sigh…especially if you left your boots on deck.
Second, spring snow creates possibilities. It is the weather equivalent to long-term economics. When we get snow, it takes longer for the snow to slowly melt and seep into the semi-frozen ground—which means better moisture retention for our trees, plants, and wildflowers. Since we often have about 6-8 weeks of very dry, warm weather in June and July—I see these late snows as significant deposits into our drought fund. (Did I just pay taxes this week? Indeed.)
It also creates really rare moments and experiences if you are a kid (or a kid at heart). This morning, while walking to work, I found myself “Running the Gauntlet” Ninja-Big-Spring-Warrior style, a game invented out of the need to attempt to avoid the giant snow cascades unloading from the top, sun-warmed branches. Final Score: Ponderosas—3, Ariella—4.
My kids, and most of the boys at Big Spring, love nothing more than to spend hours slopping through the muddy spring roads draining puddles, building and diverting stick and foot dug streams, and otherwise enjoying the extended hours of daylight following the school day. When it snows a foot one day, then the temperature reaches the 50′s by noon the next, we have A LOT of mud options.
And, finally, with Easter weekend upon us—our spring snowstorms sometimes even catch the Easter bunny by surprise—leaving both bunny, and boys, wondering for days if they had found all of the eggs. (They did not.)
The experiences the snow creates are often priceless, and—unlike the snows of December—you know the warmer weather is just around the corner. There is no need to hunker down and wait out these storms, they are as ephemeral as childhood—and full of as much possibility and fun as the summer. Perhaps that is the most exciting part of a spring snowstorm: it simply means summer is almost here.
“When I was small, not much bigger than a pollywog,” said Frog, “my father said to me, ‘Son, this is a cold, gray day but spring is just around the corner,’ I wanted spring to come. I went out to find that corner. I walked down a path in the woods until I came to a corner. I went around the corner to see if spring was on the other side.”
“And was it?” asked Toad.
“No,” said Frog. “There was only a pine tree, three pebbles and some dry grass. I walked in the meadow. ; Soon I came to another corner. I went around the corner to see if spring was there.”
“Did you find it?” asked Toad.
“No,” said Frog. “There was only an old worm asleep on a tree stump.” “I walked along the river until I came to another corner. I went around the corner to look for spring.” “Was it there?” asked Toad.
“No,” said Frog. “There was only some wet mud and a lizard who was chasing his tail.
“You must have been tired,” said Toad.
“I was tired,” said Frog, “and it started to rain.”
“I went back home. When I got there,” said Frog, “I found another corner. It was the corner of my house,”
“Did you go around it?” asked Toad.
“I went around that corner, too,” said Frog.
“What did you see?” asked Toad.
“I saw the sun coming out,” said Frog. “I saw birds sitting and singing in a tree. I saw my mother and father working in their garden. I saw flowers in the garden.”
“You found it!” cried Toad. “Yes,” said Frog. “I was very happy. I had found the corner that spring was just around,”
“Look, Frog,” said Toad. “You were right. The rain has stopped,”
Frog and Toad hurried outside. They ran around the corner of Frog’s house to make sure that spring had come again. -Arnold Lobel