It's a Fool's Spring

It's a Fool's Spring

Winter is Coming… Again

There is a good chance that we are in the season called “Fool’s Spring.” A false precondition to the real change in season. Just a chance for the weather to raise our hopes and dash them with an icy surprise. We’re getting warm weather that melts the little snow coverage we have had this winter. But the fact that it is still dark when we get out of work should be enough to waylay any thoughts of early sunny days. Fool’s Spring is characterized by the feelings we associate with spring; warm, wet days; bird’s singing; and an uptick in people’s moods. But underneath is a current of uncertainty.

We must not be fooled, winter is still here and when we get complacent is when mother nature decides to drop unexpected weather on us. If we anticipate spring-like weather, we will be sorely mistaken. How can we prevent ourselves from feeling hopeful in Maine when the weather is going to trick us? I’ve readied some tips for the average Mainer to anticipate Second Winter and not be fooled:

  1. Sit in your freezer to remind yourself that it gets cold.
  2. Throw some ice on your driveway and intentionally slip on it.
  3. Shout at the birds; why should they be happy?
  4. Wax your cross-country skis and just wait for the snow.
  5. Take really long, cold showers to dispel any hope for warmth.
  6. Wait patiently under the eaves for those last few icicles to fall on your head.
  7. Buy your garden seed, but refuse to sow them. Just stare at them.
  8. Continue to neglect home maintenance because it’s just going to get damaged when the ice storm comes in April.
  9. Don’t start your diet that you said you’d go on: winter is for hibernating.
  10. Decline social invitations because the storms are coming.
  11. Remember that one thing you did that was really mean in grade school, think about it for too long, and debate apologizing on Facebook to a person you haven’t talked to since grade 2.
  12. Sit around the fireplace telling stories from the ice storm of ‘98 when it’s raining out.
  13. Buy more knick knacks to fill your house with, spring cleaning is still months away.
  14. Store your short-sleeved shirts and dresses in the very back of your closet. You don’t need ‘em.
  15. Remind everyone that mentions the weather “This is all a trick, it’s going to get cold and lonely again.”

Maybe winter is still in store for us, but maybe not. I’d rather not be made a fool of by assuming.


Ethan Merrifield is a reader, a runner and, now, a writer. Always active and looking for ways to challenge himself – outdoors and intellectually – he has returned to Midcoast Maine after college and in search of his next adventure.

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