Repeat after me: ‘Spring has sprung!’

A friend of mine went crazy around mid-February. She started telling everyone who would listen — and even those who wouldn’t — that spring had hatched. Now it’s true that our groundhog never saw his shadow.

A friend of mine went crazy around mid-February.

She started telling everyone who would listen — and even those who wouldn’t — that spring had hatched. Now it’s true that our groundhog never saw his shadow.

And it’s also true that over the last month the temperatures have been hanging out on the upside of zero as often as the downside and we haven’t had so much as a flake of snow. Still, it seemed like a pretty reckless leap of faith to decide that spring had sprung.

After all, you don’t live in Canada without inheriting a few superstitions about the weather. If you wash your car it will rain, if you store the parkas and the snow shovel winter will come shrieking back during the night. And if you whisper about spring in February you’re doomed to spend March and April and possibly a good part of May wallowing about in your snow boots.

My friend refuses to believe in any of that. She says that it rains even when she hasn’t washed the car and it snows even when she forgets to pack away the parkas.

She points out that she has spent parts of almost every March, April and May wallowing about in snow boots no matter what has been said about spring’s arrival. She has decided that she would rather believe in the positive and be disappointed once in awhile, than to always believe in the negative and be granted the odd pleasant surprise.

With a rather maniacal look in her eye she shouted, “No more of this ‘Ooh, March came in like a lamb so it’s going out like a lion’ mentality for me! If it roars at me in a few weeks, well so be it. In the meantime I am going to enjoy hanging out with the lamb.”

Clearly winter has left her mad as a March hare. But I guess that’s the risk you take when you live this far north. And yet . . . what would it hurt to say spring is here? Maybe not to everyone you meet like my poor, mad, friend but maybe just to me. And in a whisper. Spring is here.

Yeah, that feels pretty good. And why not say it? Why not live in the moment instead of always living with fear and trepidation of what may or may not be ahead? So many things that make us crazy with anxiety today we find to be totally unfounded in the light of tomorrow.

Spring is here. Wow. It gets better each time I say it! Spring is here. Spring is here. Spring is here! You know what? Maybe my friend’s not such a mad hare after all. What could possibly be wrong with having spring in your step, spring in your heart and spring on your lips? Who knows? Maybe the sheer warmth of all those patriotic Canadian hearts glowing after winning all those Olympic gold medals has brought spring early to our beautiful country.

By the time I ran into another acquaintance I had moved way beyond reconsidering my friend’s level of madness and whispering to myself about the possibility of winter being over. I was in the throes of spring fever.

“Spring is here!” I told him.

First he frowned and then he smirked. “Have you never heard the expression if March comes in like a lamb it’s going out like a lion?”

“Spring is here.” I repeated, a bit more firmly this time.

“I remember the year there was still snow on the ground in June. And I’ll never forget when the trees didn’t even bud out until it was almost July. Another time it snowed a foot in August. A foot! In August!”

“Spring,” I replied, “is here.”

As I walked away I could hear him shouting, “We’re going to pay for this bit of nice weather, just

you wait and see! Spring? This isn’t spring, not by a long shot. There’s plenty of winter left in the pipes, you mark my words!”

But I don’t care. I’ve marked his words, and graded them a big fat F with a red pen. For me spring has sprung and that’s all there is to it. It might turn out to be the longest, coldest, snowiest spring we’ve ever had, but it’s still going to be spring just the same.

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace River country. You can read more of Shannon’s writing at www.shannonmckinnon.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read