I know we’re all getting stir crazy being cooped up in our houses. The days are either long, or they go by in a blink. Though it seems there’s not much to look forward to now, as we’re stuck inside, the world outside is changing.
It’s spring! Summer is my favorite season, but I welcome spring with open arms after long, cold upstate winters. So, to take your mind off all the negative things happening in the world, let’s focus on my favorite things about spring.
Now I think we can all agree that sunshine is superior weather — if you don’t, you’re crazy and I have no words for you. However, rain has made it onto this list simply because it’s not snow. Rain means the temperature is getting warmer, which only hints towards an upcoming spring. It’s a little sign that the cold, awful weather is almost over.
One of the best things about spring is all the flowers. I’m from Rochester and we’re known for about three things: garbage plates, Kodak and the Lilac Festival. The Lilac Festival is the biggest festival in Rochester and something that everyone adores. There’s live bands, food trucks and lots of blooming lilac trees — I’m talking about a whole park full of them. Not only do lilacs smell incredible, but they’re gorgeous and one of the first signs of spring that we get up here in cold, cloudy Rochester.
8. Thick, Green Grass
Driving around and seeing everyone’s lawns full of thick, luscious grass that seems almost unnaturally green is one of my favorite things. After seeing snow, slush and barren, brown trees for five months, the spring grass is a welcome oasis. There’s nothing like the lush color of spring grass. Another favorite is the first weekend that everybody mows their law — I can smell it now!
7. The First Time You Can Wear a T-Shirt Outside
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but there’s almost nothing better than the first time you can go outside in a t-shirt or shorts, and not be cold. It’s one of the best things that spring has to offer.
6. All the Daffodils and Tulips
These flowers deserve their own spot on the list. They’re some of the very first flowers to emerge every spring, and they make me smile every time I see them. I love that they’re one of the first signs that it is really spring and not just another false alarm warm period during a long winter. I also love how randomly they seem to pop up. These flowers seem to be scattered throughout people’s yards and will grow in the weirdest places. I don’t know why, but I love that about them.
5. The First Time You See a Robin
Perhaps the most universal sign that spring is here is seeing a robin. These birds aren’t the prettiest in my opinion, but I get so unbelievably excited when I see one for the first time each year. Where do they go during the winter? How do they know when to come back? I have no answers for these questions, but I appreciate them for the little bit of hope they bring with them.
4. Finally Opening the Windows in Your House
There’s almost nothing I love more than fresh air. I grew up in what I would call the suburbs, but most would probably deem the country. My backyard is a cornfield. I love being able to open my windows and let the clean, fresh spring air in. After a winter of breathing recycled air that’s been in my house for who knows how long, the first day it’s warm enough to open the windows is one of my favorite moments of spring.
3. Not Having to Brace Yourself Before You Step Outside
It took me some years to notice this, but I’ve fallen in love with the moment that I realize I’m not bracing for the cold whenever I open a door to the outside. In the winter, going outside requires a mental and physical brace to get you ready for the cold and wind you are about to face. In spring, you’re able to let go of that tension and step outside freely — how wonderful! Not having to brace is one thing, but when you realize that you don’t have to brace for the cold — that is truly incredible.
2. Longer Days
One of the worst things about winter is the darkness it brings and how short the days feel. The sun sets by 5 p.m. and you feel like you’ve done nothing all day. In spring, the days start to get longer and you can actually accomplish things. The days between the March equinox and the summer solstice only get longer, with sunsets being later and later in the day. I love all the things on this list, but this is one of the best.
Where I grew up, in Rochester, we have the fourth largest amount of cloudy days in a year, out of all of the U.S. We’re only behind Buffalo, Seattle and Pittsburgh with 304 cloudy days per year. That’s 83% of the year! New Paltz winters are warm and filled with sunshine compared to Rochester, where we don’t see the sun for almost five months straight. So the first moment that you’re outside and the sun comes out is, quite literally, Heaven. I’d have to say it’s my actual favorite feeling on Earth. The first time you can feel the warmth from the sun on your cheek and you have to close your eyes because it’s just too bright — there’s nothing else like it. It will always remain my favorite moment of the year, and why spring is such a welcomed season.