Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I’ve lived in Minnesota for nearly three years now, and to this day I still maintain that I was duped. Sure, I’d visited the state in winter, specifically over two separate Christmas holidays. But no one told me that the 50 degree weather we were enjoying during each of those visits WAS NOT NORMAL.

If you didn’t know, during the winter there are known to be days in Minnesota where the high is a negative number. And there was even a time when I may have celebrated such a thing. I was so naive.

I loathe winter here. I’ve been known to stare out my bedroom window on a winter’s night, gazing at the snow covered streets and imagining that they were suddenly free of snow, green and warm and ready to host a neighborly game of street hockey. In other words, I spend all winter pining for spring.

But Minnesota, she is a sly one, because she has something up her sleeve that almost, almost, makes up for those months of torment. This something can make me instantly forget winter’s anguish and fall in love with Minnesota all over again. Minnesota has Lilac’s.

In my life, I’ve never seen a love affair with Lilac’s quite like the one witnessed in this state. They are positively everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere: in seemingly every back yard, along all of the highways, outside shopping malls and probably even the prisons. Everyone loves to plant Lilac bushes.

And that fact alone is why I love this state.

Most of my friends here have exceedingly fond memories of the Lilac’s of their youth. Riding their bikes past those Lilac bushes in the spring, they knew that winter was officially over and summer was just around the bend. And every year, I know that when the Lilac’s bloom those friends have this celebrated experience of reliving their childhood memories all over again.

I don’t have that.

I can tell you this, however. When I walk out of a building in spring, and the rush of air that hits my face is filled with the sweet and splendid scent of Lilac’s, there is no better antidote for winter fatigue.

That scent alone reminds me why I love living here. Sure, next winter I’ll be combing through real estate listings in Colorado, trying to remind myself why I endure these winters. But for now, it’s spring. And then it will be summer, and then fall, and I am telling you, those three seasons can’t be topped anywhere else. They are simply magnificent.

And when I’m staring out my bedroom window next winter, pining for the warm, green glorious days of spring; I’ll remind myself to stare at the dormant Lilac bush in my front yard and remember what awaits me just around the bend.