After a week of mild, sunny weather and a single episode of heavy rain, color has returned to the landscape of central Missouri. The grays and browns of winter are giving way to greening lawns and flowering plants. Among the early spring bloomers are red maples, wild cherries, forsythias and several species of magnolia; the flowers of periwinkle, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths adorn the flower beds and, much to the chagrin of lawn masters, the first crop of dandelions glow from every patch of grass.
This burst of spring seems to promise that winter has retreated to the north, not to return until the waning daylight of November, and that our path to the balmy days of May will be a steady, carefree climb. Time to get out the gardening tools and mothball the winter coats!
Of course, nature makes no such promise; she is fickle and erratic, especially in March and April. The conviction that spring weather is here to stay is a human fabrication, the product of hope and denial; while acknowledging the April snowstorms in our past, we promise ourselves that this year will be different. Such promises are seldom kept; after all, we are powerless when it comes to weather.