Here’s the Thing: Spring is in the air

Not being a giant fan of January and February, I was unsure of how March would feel. The sunshine has been touch and go, but mostly welcoming. We can stay outside in the fresh air for a little bit longer than usual. The trees don’t look like they’re trying very hard yet to meet their full potential (unlike the smell), but my allergies confirm they haven’t given up. The week has still been a little chilly with a light breeze, but just enough to be refreshing.

Almost refreshing. I don’t know about you, but my transition into spring feels almost complete. Some of us begin a new wardrobe, escaping from heavy coats into light sweaters, but knowing it’s still on a day-to-day basis. The smaller windows of my home stay slightly open to air out after the past couple months, but not for too long as it still gets pretty cold at night. Spring cleaning is a little dramatic; I’d say I’m spring “tidying.” My kids are still tracking in a mix of mud, so we’re not in the clear yet. This is that tricky time of year when it could still snow if it wanted too.

Which is partially why I haven’t taken my truck to the carwash yet. Every year springtime in Alaska is like having one foot in the door. This year it feels like that door is trying to open, and I appreciate that.

My kids are on spring break, which I guess means that I am too. Wow, being on spring break used to mean something completely different to me then it does now. That makes me feel old. Well, I didn’t catch a ride to Tijuana with a shirt that says, “I wish I was full of tacos instead of emotions,” but I did fly to Anchorage to catch a ride with my best friend to spend the weekend with her in Wasilla.

The Valley is gorgeous, especially when it’s sunny. Being surrounded by bright singing mountains is incredible. When it’s quiet, like in the mornings, you breath the crisp air into your lungs and can’t help but feel cleansed. Almost no snow, a slight chill, and a cup of coffee equals my personal heaven. I’m not much of a coffee drinker anymore (unless it’s a tummy-friendly cold brew), but when your on-point barista-skilled best friend makes you a smooth Kaladi’s drip from a fancy coffee pot in the morning, you drink it. And have no regrets.

And I wasn’t joking about the new wardrobe. I didn’t hide the fact that I wanted to take full advantage of this little thing called the Mall. I was on a mission to find a cute dress to wear at the weddings I’ve been invited too. Instead of gambling online with ordering a wrong size and dealing with ridiculous shipping (I’m bitter) I was excited to actually try them on.

After about ten dresses, I found one that looked nice. I mean, after about five million pushups it might look a little more nice, but you know. I just had a baby. Six years ago. Also, I needed a couple new basic tees that weren’t stained with the Vaseline that I keep on my cracked Old Father Winter hands. It’s not super ladylike, but it works great. And thanks to a little, hidden boutique no one really knows about, I found a couple great shirts. Thanks, Old Navy.

New clothes for a new season. A little less monotone and a little more colorful. That’s how I feel on the inside as well. Springtime feels like it’s OK to wake up. I feel a little more alive. All the inner spiritual growth I’ve done during winter is paying off by feeling more secure with myself. All the quiet moments that helped knit together any stray feeling have now turned into a type of maturity I can’t quite pinpoint. Instead of worrying what others think, I’m more focused on what makes me whole. My self worth is less about ego and more of a cushion that guards my heart.

There is a great stability by being connected to yourself. I might not always know what I want, but I’m starting to trust my ability to figure it out. I won’t tear myself down for someone else’s benefit. I won’t compromise my individuality to make someone more comfortable. And as odd as it sounds, it gives me strength to love others even more.

Here’s the thing: Spring seems like the least cherished season, but it’s still valuable. Like life, it’s flexible, yielding to create new growth. It’s muddy until it’s not. As most Alaskan gardeners know, if we nurture the seemingly impossible terrain, it can emerge beautiful possibilities. It reminds us to keep growing!

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

More in Life

Leora McCaughey, Maggie Grenier and Oshie Broussard rehearse “Mamma Mia” at Nikiski Middle/High School in Nikiski, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Singing, dancing and a lot of ABBA

Nikiski Theater puts on jukebox musical ‘Mamma Mia!’

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A tasty project to fill the quiet hours

This berry cream cheese babka can be made with any berries you have in your freezer

File
Minister’s Message: How to grow old and not waste your life

At its core, the Bible speaks a great deal about the time allotted for one’s life

Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Stephen McKinley Henderson appear in “Civil War.” (Promotional photo courtesy A24)
Review: An unexpected battle for empathy in ‘Civil War’

Garland’s new film comments on political and personal divisions through a unique lens of conflict on American soil

What are almost certainly members of the Grönroos family pose in front of their Anchor Point home in this undated photograph courtesy of William Wade Carroll. The cabin was built in about 1903-04 just north of the mouth of the Anchor River.
Fresh Start: The Grönroos Family Story— Part 2

The five-member Grönroos family immigrated from Finland to Alaska in 1903 and 1904

Aurora Bukac is Alice in a rehearsal of Seward High School Theatre Collective’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” at Seward High School in Seward, Alaska, on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward in ‘Wonderland’

Seward High School Theatre Collective celebrates resurgence of theater on Eastern Kenai Peninsula

These poppy seed muffins are enhanced with the flavor of almonds. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
The smell of almonds and early mornings

These almond poppy seed muffins are quick and easy to make and great for early mornings

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes they come back

This following historical incident resurfaced during dinner last week when we were matching, “Hey, do you remember when…?” gotchas

The Canadian steamship Princess Victoria collided with an American vessel, the S.S. Admiral Sampson, which sank quickly in Puget Sound in August 1914. (Otto T. Frasch photo, copyright by David C. Chapman, “O.T. Frasch, Seattle” webpage)
Fresh Start: The Grönroos Family Story — Part 1

The Grönroos family settled just north of the mouth of the Anchor River

Most Read