If history repeats itself, we are in for our coldest days of winter yet…of course, this global climate change “thingy” might have erased any previous history. Still, I have faith. I predict our coldest days will occur on or around February the Third.
Why am I so sure? Since the early Seventies, I have kept a close watch on the weather of late winter. Spring sport’s practice, a misnomer in this part of the world, begins in the late winter. For thirty-eight of the forty-five years that I coached, I coached baseball. Usually, the coldest days of winter occurs around the start of baseball practice in South Carolina. This year’s start date, February 3. Sleet, freezing rain, snow, and winds are sure to follow.
Truth be known, the cold start of baseball practice is what finally convinced me to retire.
If history repeats itself, Mother Nature will be bi-polar in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and in the Piedmont of South Carolina until April…or maybe early May. We will have days of teeth chattering bitter cold with howling winds. We will have frigid rains bordering and sometimes crossing over to the freezing variety. We will have sleet driven by icy winds or huge, wet snowflakes that are here today and gone tomorrow.
If history repeats itself there will be spring days as well. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde weather with lows in the twenties and highs in the fifties or sixties. Days that defy the calendar of January, February, March, and early April. Days when crocus, buttercups and Scotch Broom are confused and punch out of the winter ground and bloom. Days when my Red Bud begins to show pink only to be nipped in the bud by Jack Frost and Old Man Winter a day or two later.
Yesterday was the day that proves the rule. With daylight hours lengthening enough to recognize, I was greeted with deep blue, cloudless skies. Redtail hawks caught the thermals in the brightest of sunshine, whistling to each other…sharing their joy with me. A purple finch stopped by my feeder showing the spring color that gave him his name. A day so bright I felt the pull to search seed catalogs and almanacs to see when I should plant.
Don’t get me wrong, the feeling passed. Yesterday was a deceptive day. All spring looking but… There was still a nip in the wind making the low fifties seem like low forties and with no nighttime cloud cover, the lows have dipped into the high twenties before thinking of rebounding into the mid-fifties. It looks like spring even if it doesn’t quite feel like spring.
This crazy season in the foothills of the Blue Ridge seems a lot like life. It’s the good times that make life livable and the bad times less so bad. Days like yesterday and today make the winter more survivable until the rains come tomorrow. According to Longfellow and The Ink Spots, “Into each life, a little rain must fall”…but the sunshine makes it survivable if not likable.
Here is a toast for more spring days in January…and February….
The 1944 song by the Ink Spots took its title from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Rainy Day. If you listened you might think you hear Ella Fitzgerald. You did. She had a voice like a springtime too.
Don Miller’s author’s page may be found at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM.