Monday, March 27, 2017


According to the calendar, it has been spring here for a week. Looking outside, however, you will see none of the typical signs of spring. There are no flowers poking up through the soil. There are no buds on the trees. There are no robins or geese flying overhead. The grass isn't turning green. In fact, it looks pretty much the way it has looked for the last 8 months: covered in snow.

And yet, I can feel spring in the air and I can see signs of springtime in Interior Alaska. As I am writing this it is 23*F (-4*C) outside. The overnight low tonight will only be 4*F (-16*C). I can walk from my car into the grocery store without gloves on and not feel like I am about to get frostbite. The air no longer hurts my face. We now have over 12 hours of sunshine each day. We are inching ever closer to the almost-constant daylight that will come with summer. The sun's strength has returned as well and I can feel its warmth coming through the windows. It is actually melting some of the snow now. I can see bare pavement in a few places. In the parking lot of the gym, I can see the yellow lines for the first time since October. I must confess that after months of gauging my parking spot on the parking jobs of the cars already in the lot, parking between two yellow lines seems a little foreign. The roads are starting to clear up and I am not as worried about sliding through intersections anymore. And the people? Everyone suddenly seems nicer and happier. There is a hope in the air.

Is this the spring I am used to? No. My internal clock is having a difficult time with the Alaska spring. This isn't what spring is supposed to be like. There are supposed to be flowers, and birds, and leaves. But this, this Alaska spring--with its snow, and its cold temperatures, and its brilliant sunshine--promises the end of winter is near. And you know what? I believe it.

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