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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.
They say this time of year comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, and I think what they mean by that is that the whole thing is a little dramatic. Maybe spring where you are is consistent, with the same predictable, warming non-winter, not quite summer weather every day. But I’ve never lived anywhere like that.
Instead spring likes to keep you on your toes. And depending on where you live, it might be extra dramatic like it is here. We joke that there are multiple springs — first spring, then winter two, fools spring, then winter three, the spring of deception, then winter four, and so on.
We are definitely somewhere in the mix, with so much sunshine and snow melting off my roof. These bright days are such a mood booster, even as the traffic sprays up all of that dirty melt into a fine mist hanging in the air. It makes everything in our through it look like a mirage. Is that your friend you see on the road, running through mist? Or is it a dream? No one can say.
If you’re like me you get really, really excited about springs one through five, or however many stages there happen to be. My enthusiasm for the sun knows no bounds, and it is no way tempered by the knowledge that winter could come roaring back.
A few instagram followers warned me this week to not get caught up in fool’s spring or Ill be disappointed when winter comes back. That’s because it’s easy to lean into these sunny days as if the roller coaster of winter is behind us and that’s that. No more exhausting winter weather. Just spring.
That used to be me. But today riding the wave of this season has taught me to be OK with the roller coaster. Yes, I am a fool for this spring weather. And I think calling it “false” or “fools” spring or the spring of deception is a deception of its own of sorts. Why? Because this rollercoaster is what makes spring, well, spring. And that’s a good thing.
I’ve learned that understanding and getting comfortable with “false” spring has at least two important things to teach me or reminders that are good year round.
First, unpredictable spring weather is a reminder to live with flexibility. I spend so much of my life trying to control things that it is a relief of sorts to encounter something that I can really, truly say is out of my control. There is no reason to get bent out of shape about it because there’s literally nothing I can do about it other than adjust my attitude.
So that’s what I trying to practice doing. I’m not saying I nail it every time. But every moment I encounter a swap to the weather that takes us back to the 72nd winter of the year or something, I have a chance to practice letting things out of my control go.
I have a really hard time letting things go. So I need the practice.
The next lesson is one that I’ve found is best learned by experiencing the coming and goings of all seasons, but wow is spring good for this. There are some wonderful Alaska outdoor things that one really can only do in the spring. Sunny cross country skiing. Running to glaciers. Hanging out in the snow without freezing to death. You get the picture.
The thing about these activities is that if you don’t do them while the weather is right, you’re not going to get to do them at all. It’s either now — possibly literally right now and that’s it — or next year. Because if what comes tomorrow is winter 45, and then bam it’s too warm after that, you’re out of luck.
In short, the most important thing to remember about seasons is that they change. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is dependent on how much like the season you’re in. But the power of understanding that seasons change is an inspiration that can help you fully live in the moment, or, alternatively, give you hope for tomorrow. Seasons change. You just need to move moment by moment through this one. Seasons change. If you don’t live in what you have right now, it will be gone.
The unpredictable spring weather is a reminder that all seasons have both good things and bad things about them — and how you interpret those or pinpoint them is up to you. No one can discourage me from loving a sunny afternoon, sitting in a camping chair in my front yard with my feet propped up against a snowbank just because it’s a fool’s spring day. I am going to enjoy the sunshine today, bundle up against the wind tomorrow, remember that seasons change and enjoy what this one has for me literally right now.
You can see photos of me enjoying the rollercoaster of spring, including sun bathing in my puffy pants, sunshine cold hiking and running and bundled up for another windy winter day in March — you know, the usual spring stuff — check out Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. And I want to see your photos, too — spring, summer, winter and fall. Tag them with #humansoutside365. And until next time, we’ll see you out there.