Just when we were taking trips to the park again. Just when I was wearing my sandals again…

Snow.

I saw it there on my calendar, clear as day, in the manufacturer’s print, “First Day of Spring.” But did the clouds get the memo? No. I’m just not used to all of this, all this…weather.

Here’s the problem. I’m the product of one of those gorgeous California costal towns that boasts 75 and sunny 360 days a year. On the other five days, when it rains, we don’t leave the house. To our minds, the drizzle has made the roads impassable. The sprinkling scares us to death. We don’t have the right shoes, the right tires, and where on earth did I stash that umbrella last year? But then before you can say, “storm drains” it’s 75 and sunny once again, and we all breathe a little easier and pat ourselves on the back for getting through “the worst of it.” That was my idea of “weather.”

Then as an adult, I moved. First stop, Phoenix AZ. Freezing winter nights, dust storms in the afternoons and lightning infested monsoons all August long. Hotter than a pistol in a frying pan May through October. We’re talking 110+. At night. Our first year there, I would open my mouth to say something intelligent, to talk about current events or some such, and all that would come out is, “I can’t believe how hot it is! No really, can you believe it!?? You’ve got to be kidding me! It’s so hot!” It took me four years to embrace the heat. Miss it, even. There is something to be said for being warmed through to the bone when stepping out of a swimming pool.

(I took my Arizona sun-kissed kids swimming at my parents house one summer vacation. 80 and sunny. Slight western breeze. They were shivering, blue lipped little fish who begged to stay in the hot tub the entire time because the wind chill factor upon getting out was simply too much to bear. That’s an Arizona kid for you.)

Then we moved again, this time to a land with four seasons. The kind of seasons I saw in picture books as a kid and wondered where in the world those lucky kids got to live. Sledding? Raking leaves? Tulips? How fun, how charming! And to be honest, it is fun. It is charming. We do rake leaves. We do go sledding. But the three months of winter are technically over now and I’m ready for the tulip part.

The calendar said so.

But I supposed the good Lord gave us weather for a reason. Change, cycles, seasons, preparation, hard work, all of it. The weather shapes the landscapes of our lives. Just when I think a particular problem is over, weather has taught me to be ready to button up again, pull out the boots, check the tires and pray for spring.

Reminds me of the poem:

“Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, we’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.”

But if this could all melt before our spring soccer games this week, I’d really appreciate it.

Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, returned missionary, freelance writer and the mother of four small children. Read more at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com