Southern Indiana is at the peak of spring blooming, and it is glorious. My Japanese maple has leafed out with vibrant dark red leaves. Our dogwood offered a spiritual nudge by blooming cross-marked leaves on Easter morning. The fragile pear trees punctuate almost every neighborhood along with tulip trees and bushes in pastel shades. Everywhere there is renewal, rebirth, and the reminders that spring means hope.
I’ve lived in Indiana all but six years in Florida and summer in Wisconsin. To me, one of our state’s joys is the regularity of the four seasons.
During my first autumn in Florida, my Fort Wayne friend Doris sent me a yellow mailing envelope full of crusty October leaves. When I opened the envelope, I was overcome by the wonderful smells of an Indiana autumn.
I’ve observed, while there is much beauty in our seasons, there are some things I could live without. I also notice a regional difference between the seasons.
For the past few years in southwestern Indiana, we’ve had four seasons. I call them Ugh, Sneezing, Humidity and Fall Festival.
Ugh is the season of black ice. While last winter brought a record amount of snow, our area is usually cold and gray and icy. We have sleet, freezing rain, drizzle and something called snizzle, and black ice. The sidewalk may appear clear, safe and ready for customers, but one wrong step on black ice and you are done for. While I’m grateful that southwestern Indiana is often spared some of the fiercer weather of the balance of Indiana, black ice is a danger.
The next season is Sneezing.
This morning my husband and I drove to breakfast, and he sneezed from our house to Cracker Barrel. After breakfast, he wiped his eyes from the tears. Were they tears of joy from hearing that twangy cover of “Folsom Prison Blues?”