In Michigan, you can count on a couple of things: in September, apple season will begin and there will be lots of pie and cider and hayrides through orchards to make one feel like the season is new and different from the one before it that was all lakes and bathing suits and the smell of sunblock. Another thing you can count on is that come October, early November, there will be snow and it will stay through March and really, often through April. It will stay cold, rarely reaching beyond the height of the 50s over this period of time. (Okay, sure, there's an occasional 60 degree day, but this wildly rare and confusing.)
Which brings me to Tennessee where hot and cold days switch faster than my shower faucets are capable of. Tuesday, March 10, it was upwards of 80 degrees here. I liked it. I wore shorts and sandals and opened up the few windows I do not have weather-stripped. It felt good to be alive again and I started to think about all the lovely things our lives would become once this baby gets here. Warm weather, walks, picnics, evenings around the fire pit.
And then today happens, which at this point should not be a terrible surprise to me. We woke to 40 degree weather, which is how it will remain for the weekend before it moves back up to the 70s next week. There's a lot of this here: little pockets of cold days, or little pockets of hot days, depending on which season is the frame of reference point. When I first starting teacher here and "winter" came along, I could not understand why my students stubbornly wore their sandals all through December and January. Now I have come to believe that this weather makes them optimists who trust the warm to return any day now, because it does even though it leaves again quickly.
In Michigan, despite a steadfast cycle of cold winter, hot summer, cold winter, hot summer, it's hard to trust that return. We know Spring will come again, but at some point, the cold and snow become unreasonable and mean, even uncharitable. I know it is that time of the year for my Northern friends. They are cursing the snow and the gray, cursing the climate that forces them into a crankiness they would like to throw off into a bright summer sky. It will come. The hot and cold may be farther apart than it is in the spotty Tennessee climate, but it will come.