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.

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