Weekend. It’s a lovely word, isn’t it? I know I talk about the weather a lot, and I know that can be a boring topic, but why stop now? It’s been kind of a dreary start to spring. Occasionally the sun and warm air cooperated, but mostly it’s been chilly(ish) and gray and damp. So, when the weather turned last week and gave us a full week of sun and warmth, you’d think we’d all won the lottery. Friday afternoon goodbyes at work went like this:
Coworker: Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!
Me: No, YOU enjoy this beautiful weather this weekend!
Coworker: I will!
Me: I will, too! My husband says we’ve earned this good weather! We deserve it!
Coworker: Well, he’s right!
Me: I agree!
[As I type this, I can hear the sound of neighbors embarking on yard work projects and the sounds of the lawn mowers and weed eaters are music to my ears.]
Yesterday, Josh and I biked all the world over and every now and then I’d get the sweet whiff of a flower or a lilac, which are blooming like crazy right now. It’s such a beautiful time of year. I went on a bike ride Friday, too, and on this ride I confirmed that Spring 2.0 has arrived. This is a revelation that came to me as I saw that there are green leaves atop all the trees now and wildflowers are starting to pop up all over the place. So, if this is Spring 2.0, you might be wondering what comes prior to it? Well, it’s like this (brace yourself…here comes even MORE talk of weather):
Sunday, March 20, 2016 was the first official day of spring. Really, though, this is just a date on the calendar to mark an astronomical event: the vernal equinox. This occurs when the sun is shining directly on the equator. The vernal equinox marks the day when both day and night are roughly equal. It is when the northern hemisphere (where we are!) begins pointing toward the sun, thus opening the door to longer days and, eventually, warmer weather. In Michigan this means nothing, though. At the onset of spring, we still have months to go before we can hear the first whispers of spring. (This was not the case in NC where I previously lived. There, I’d find crocuses blooming in February and daffodils in early March.) So, basically, the first phase of spring, I realized as I biked along the River Trail on Friday, is also the last burst of Winter. Or, you could also look at it as Old Man Winter’s Last Laugh. The first phase of spring is marked by cold, damp, an occasional burst of snow, and an occasional peek of sun and warmth. Spring 2.0 begins when there are more trees budding with flowers and with green leaves decorating their limbs than bare trees. When you begin to see the wildflowers and get random mouthfuls of bugs on your bike rides, that’s when you know you can begin to rest easy. The chirping birds are here to stay. You can take the flannel sheets off your bed and ignore your sock drawer for the next several months. Spring 2.0 is also characterized by friendly neighbors and passersby you encounter on your walks and bike rides. People will smile at you and greet you. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
So all that is to say that yesterday Josh and I spent hours on our bikes to usher in Spring 2.0, and also to have a belated anniversary celebration. On our bikes we: got coffee, went through Scott Woods leading up to Hawk Island Park, found a new-to-us pathway that showed us Lansing sites we’d never encountered before, biked to REO Town and got bbq for the first time at Saddleback BBQ, went to Old Town and up to Turner Dodge House, then finished out the day with about 9 more miles out to Clinton County and back.
Exhausting? Oh, yes. But so, so fun. We ended the day with a few friends at the house and a homemade tofu curry…and ice cream for dessert.