Friday, May 5, 2017
I try to write these essays for my own satisfaction, but I keep an eye on history too. I am one percent convinced that these missives will one day be revered throughout the land, which, at that time, will likely be blighted and post apocalyptic. So I feel an imperative to bolster my body of work at every possible moment. The clock is always ticking. The Beatles worked pretty hard during their triumphant run, but after hearing it all a thousand times it's hard not to wish they had squeezed in just a few more quality recording sessions here or there.
But sometimes the work that is for the ages conflicts with what the people now want. And the people now really, really, really want me to talk about the weather. They just love it.
"Oh." I say. "God came down from the heavens and wanted me to share a few things with you, but I was having drinks with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and they said... What's that?
Um, it was a bit chilly out that day, cloudy. Why do you want to know?
You'd like me to write about that?
So, okay. If you prefer it.
The last half of April was fantastic for being able to quote the famous proverb. The one that rhymes and concerns the progression of Spring weather. I myself rather fancied, throughout the chronic raininess, saying things like "There's something about April Showers bringing something." or "I'm pretty sure there's like, a poem that goes specifically with this weather." And it was all good fun. But when you go around constantly talking about May flowers, even half in jest, and you use a super famous catchy phrase to do it with, you can't help to start to believe it.
So in Minnesota we breathlessly awaited May. Through the rain of late April the tulips inched forward. And the early trees blossomed nicely, in the rain, in a respectful, early way that seemed to say "Don't worry, we're just setting the stage." And then it rained some more and it rained so much everyone stopped paying any attention to flowers around here. We focused on May. And it came.
On May first I was upstairs in the library I work at. It was just after noon. A huge wall of windows there looked longingly towards the west. I presented myself at them and gazed out. Snow was pouring heavily from of the sky. Heavy, white, wild snow. Great mad sheets of plummeting snow. Snow, falling, falling snow. It was wonderful. We all feigned horror and artlessly roleplayed seasonal confusion, every last one of us Minnesotans. But it was glorious, and in our hearts we knew it. The flowers can wait. Stand back flowers. In May, on the first, at least for one last uncanny afternoon, beyond all expectation, let the snow try and bury Minnesota one last time.