Minnesota is filled with seasonal surprises

Once again, March has come upon us. The season of winter is coming to a close, especially with such high temperatures during the past few weeks. It almost feels like winter has already come to an end, despite Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on Groundhog’s Day. 

The change of season can bring, for me at least, some mixed feelings. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that winter puts a stop to, or makes a little harder. Driving in slippery conditions is one thing I won’t miss, as well as digging out the driveway from a big snowfall. It’s always tricky watching out for icy patches while walking on sidewalks as well. I can hopefully rest easy knowing I should have some good footing under me for the next few months.  

Winter can be a lot of fun, though. Snowmobiling, as well as the brilliant lights and decorations in our neighborhoods, usually make it very enjoyable. That is why some of our latest winter cycles during the last few years have been a bit unusual. There seems to be less snow but more bitter cold. To me, snow is what makes winter the wonderful season it is. Driveways and slippery roads aside, it makes the landscape fit the part of the season.

I especially remember how fun it was when I was younger. Sledding down snow hills was the best thing in the world, and I did it every chance I got. The occasional snowball fight also brings back good memories. Now, most of the kids my age are too old for such activities, but you can still hear the excitement whenever snow starts falling outside the high-school windows. People never stop anticipating a snow day, but with how tough Minnesotans are, we almost never have them.

That to me, is one of the best parts of living in Minnesota. Here, we have all four seasons, but each of them can also bring challenges. The winters are cold, snowy and long. The summers can be extremely hot. Spring and fall can have temperatures fluctuating all over the place. I can understand wanting to live in a place that has a constant warmer climate, but I would be lost without a change of seasons. It ties everything together, and it means that something new and exciting is always around the corner.

Now that spring is almost here, it’s time to gear up for all the things we can do once again when the ground thaws. Taking walks in the park, bicycling, golf, baseball, the list goes on. Each one is made all the better by the fact of it being much too cold outside to enjoy any of these activities comfortably during the last few months.

Too often, I think things get too busy that we don’t always see what changes there are before us. In more literary terms, it can be hard to stop and smell the roses, especially with all the distractions of everyday life. Frequently, I’ll marvel at how accustomed I am to sunrises, sunsets or tree leaves budding during spring. I always try to take a moment to realize things we take for granted as normal and regular are actually quite extraordinary.

I’m going to make the most of that effort this spring. To watch the last of winter slip away and observe the everyday wonders as the seasons begin their changes. The return of the birds and the buds on the plants bursting back into bloom. To jump headfirst into the new spring-time activities, but to remember also what was fun about the season that came before. After all, being in Minnesota, we have no idea what next week might bring.  

Connor Kockler is a Sauk Rapids-Rice High School student. He enjoys writing, politics and news, among other interests.

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