Published March 17, 2024

There’s Always Tomorrow

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

A Slice of Life

When does Spring arrive? Seems like the answer is always tomorrow, but then I’ve grown accustomed to disappointment over my many years in North Dakota.

I enjoy the changing of the seasons, others do too, but my patience is quite limited when it comes to Spring. It’s a struggle for me when Spring refuses to arrive when I want it to arrive. Yes, it’s a yearly occurrence. Darn it.

This year, according to the calendar, March 19 is the first day of Spring. Bluebirds, blossoms, and sunshine? I wish it worked that way, but I have learned that Spring is more often the season that always starts tomorrow. Seems that way anyway.

March 19 is the first day of astronomical Spring, the beginning of the Vernal Equinox when the sun is directly overhead. However, in North Dakota, the sun is as likely to be blotted out by snowfall as it is to shine brightly. No getting around it, that’s the way it is in the far north.

The National Weather Service adds a bit of confusion to the season too. Their “meteorological” spring began March 1. To the NWS Spring is March, April, and May – easier for record keeping.

Summer begins June 20, the longest day of sunshine of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s us. But the NWS says meteorological summer starts June 1, again for record keeping purposes.

(Photo: Kim Fundingsland/The Dakotan)

A few weeks ago, we experienced spring, summer, and winter on consecutive days. Mid-30's one day, low 50’s the next, and then a dump of snow. How North Dakota was that? It’s why I’ve learned that Spring always starts tomorrow. At least with that way of thinking, I don’t get overly disappointed when I put away the lawn mower and start the snowblower.

Spring arrives, maybe, when the leaves begin to return to the trees and grass starts to turn from brown to green. Geese have been migrating for weeks. Ducks and shorebirds won’t be far behind. I hope.

We’ve just come through one of the warmest, most agreeable, pleasant winters in our history. Now, as always, I want an early Spring. Always optimistic, I’ll know it when I see it.

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