50 Degree Day

I smiled when I looked at my weather app today.

Today the temperature hit 50º for the first time in 2018!

One of the things I love about Wisconsin is that it actually has four seasons. Being raised in Alabama we didn’t really have four seasons. There are a ton of great things about Bama that I love. I love the food I was raised on. I loved seeing peanut and cotton fields and dogwoods blooming in the woods. I love seeing and smelling the marshes and waterways of Mobile. I love driving down Government Street in Mobile Alabama with the road canopied by the live oak trees. I love being able to buy boiled peanuts at a gas station.

BUT the lack of real changing seasons wasn’t one of the things that I loved about Alabama (specifically Lower Alabama – the southern part of Alabama for all those not actually from LA).

It was (and is) hot in Alabama! Bearably hot in the Spring, unbearably hot and muggy in the Summer, back to bearably hot but still muggy in the Fall, and mainly hot, with a brief moment of cool humid weather in the Winter. So my Alabama self moved to the MidWest and learned the joys of true changing seasons.

C.S. Lewis has a great passage in “The Screwtape Letters” concerning God (The “Enemy” in the Screwtape Letters”) creating humanity to love the changing seasons. He wrote:

The humans live in time, and experience reality successively. To experience much of it, therefore, they must experience many different things; in other words, they must experience change. And since they need change, the Enemy (being a hedonist at heart) has made change pleasurable to them, just as He has made eating pleasurable. But since He does not wish them to make change, any more than eating, an end in itself, He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence. He has contrived to gratify both tastes together in the very world He has made, by that union of change and permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme.

I love the consistently changing seasons.

When Pam and I moved here we were informed of a wonderful, unofficial holiday that used to be celebrated by the students and professors of UWSP. The first day to reach 50º classes were unofficially canceled (i.e. the students and professors both just winked and nodded and didn’t show up for classes) and everyone just enjoyed the outside by cooking, sitting around outside, and doing what they do in Wisconsin (this usually means drinking). I didn’t understand the big deal at first. After my first Winter I realized how glorious the first 50º actually is. I walked around without a coat for most of the day and found myself thinking how hot it was.

It was a glorious 50º day! Yeah! Spring is coming!


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