Any high school senior who is preparing to begin their undergraduate experience at a university in Boston gets used to hearing one phrase — “It gets cold up there.” And for the next four years, they won’t stop hearing it. As autumn dwindles and temperatures slowly drop below 60 degrees, family, friends and strangers love to remind Boston students of the weather they will soon experience.
To their point, it is cold. Very cold.
I am a girl who loves snow. My philosophy is below freezing weather with snow is magic, but cold on its own is its own line of misery, especially when temperatures are under 30 degrees — add that with intense Boston winds…unbearable! If I decide to face the walk to class on those days, it’s a miracle.
Overall, I would not give winter the title of my favorite season. The general lack of sunlight and the possibility of slipping on ice at any moment immediately takes it out of the running. But, I am eternally grateful to winter for bringing me spring.
As with any seasonal shift, I am ready to let go of what has been and excited to welcome the traditions and activities that come with the next. The warm weather of spring invites beach days and barbecues. Then, after months of summer heat, a caramel apple and a sweater sound wonderful. And once all the leaves have fallen, I cannot wait for the first snow flurries to take over.
But nothing compares to the transition from winter to spring.
A New England winter makes me forget that sunlight exists. Trees with leaves? Grass that looks alive? Impossible! But that all fades away when the sun’s warmth touches my face, usually on a one-off day in late February or early March, but going into hiding again for a few more weeks.
That touch of warmth unlocks a great sense of appreciation and an unwavering degree of potential. Just like last week, when the weather app told us all that the temperature would reach up to 60 degrees over the weekend and hope and happiness and joy hung in the air…as if no one had believed it would actually happen.
On those days, when you witness the first snowfall or the leaves change colors overnight, magic seems believable.
But, there’s more. The colder days become rare and making excuses to do everything picnic-style becomes the norm. Unlike other seasons, spring only gets better with time. Flowers go from budding to blooming, the grass turns greener and the sun sticks around for longer.
My mid-February itch for warmth coincided with a visit from my mom, which typically ends with a grocery store run before she leaves. If my mom is picking up the Trader Joe’s bill, I will spring for the raspberries and the strawberries ( why pick one?) and grab that snack I haven’t had a real reason to buy. It was my mom who told me to get some flowers.
And so, some pink tulips — my favorite and the epitome of springtime — came home with me. For the past week, they have sat on my windowsill being mocked by piles of snow and sheets of black ice, until Saturday, when Boston hit 60 degrees! That fateful day was here!
Without fail, going outside and realizing I didn’t need a big jacket felt unimaginable and utterly shocking. The captivating energy brought by the sun fueled lengthy walks and prompted open windows.
And as I sat there on Sunday, watching snow fall and winter persist, the hope and potential of spring quietly remained. Soon enough, warm days won’t be met with surprise, and the concept of a below-freezing afternoon will sound like a far-off dream. I hope the changing of seasons never feels like a certainty and wish that the concept always lives in the world of the inconceivable.