Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
I could not have chosen, or planned for, a more aptly named flower, or blog post title, for the first blooming plant in my yard. When I took pictures of this delicate little beauty on Saturday, it was sunny and about 70 degrees. Today, as I post this photo and ponder the irony of it all, it is snowing. Heavily.
Welcome to spring in the Southern Appalachians, a place with sweeping meteorological extremes like no other. As much as I struggle to love the long, cold winters here, spring, even with it's occasional snow and bone-chilling air, is heartbreakingly beautiful. I don't dread the snow now, or the ice pellets that have just begun to strike my window, rather, as I lather up my sunburned arms with soothing lotion, I find it more beautiful than ever.
When I took the above photo, I had been working hard pruning bushes in my garden for hours. I wore short sleeves, capri pants, sandals and sunglasses. Beads of sweat accumulated on my brow as the sun scorched my pale white skin. Today, however, I took the photo below at almost the exact same time of day (11 minutes later), but with long pants, shoes and socks, and a winter coat. As I bent down to take today's picture, my coat rose up in the back, allowing snowflakes to melt on my warm, exposed skin, my heart pounding a bit more quickly than normal from the sheer thrill of it all.
How incredibly fortunate I am to live in a place where I can directly experience two very different seasons all at once. Life - with all of its twist and turns and perfect ironies - is definitely good.