**note: I wrote this over a week ago, and now, with April looming, I figured it was about time I post it…**
March in Montana doesn´t go for the proverbial Lion and Lamb thing (In like a lion, out like a lamb)… it´s lions and lambs and a few other animals mixed up every day. And I love it.
My favorite March memory from growing up here is walking down my parents´ steep rural driveway. It is typically still covered in inches of ice through March, but on a sunny day rivers of melt water will start to run down it, and the south-facing bend by the Powers’ turn-off is always the first to get down to bare mud. That is March in Montana to me; The crunch of ice, the squelch of mud, the sound of water flowing, and inevitably the March wind blowing through the pine trees. The sun is strong enough to warm my face, but the wind is biting and although I may have left my winter coat at home, I´m layered up in wool to ward off the chill.
And now I´m rediscovering the wild March weather of Montana for the first time in 10 years. Our visits back have always been around Christmas or in the summer, so it has been a delight to experience the full range of seasons this first year back. I often complained to Maarten that Spring in the Netherlands, while a beautiful season, lacks drama, the umph of a spring that emerges from the long sleep of a snowy winter with dead brown grass covered in snow mold and fresh snow threatening in the valley through May, lingering in the mountains through the summer. While in the Netherlands flowers herald the coming of spring as early as February, bright color popping up in eternally green grass, here it is the haze of green that gradually creeps into the brown dormant fields (it´s already there, spreading through the yard along the south side of our house)… the utter joy of a sepia landscape slowly regaining color.
I recently was spoiled with a weekend away to visit with my girlfriends from University down in Bozeman, Montana, where we went to school. I stopped a few times along the way to catch the beauty of this season of transition. It´s still brown, mostly, and it snowed today (although nothing stuck to the ground), but new life is lurking, gaining hold and strengthening with each day. And perhaps because of that promise, I cherish the lingering signs of winter and the sometimes slow progress, rather than begrudging them. The anticipation is enough for now.
lakes still frozen… beaver slide hay stacksand tacos, of coursedear friendsalmost back home…