Searching for spring requires patience

Jerry Apps
Author Jerry Apps enjoys standing in one of his woodlots at Roshara this time of the year,  looking, listening, smelling—feeling for the changing of the seasons.

When I was in grade school, we all learned this little ditty: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” And most of the time the ditty proved true. But guess what, I am writing this on the last day of March and it is snowing. Snowing hard. Accumulating on the tree branches and grassy areas, making travel difficult. A real bummer for those who are patiently waiting for spring.

I am one of those who is waiting. I so much enjoy standing in one of my woodlots at Roshara this time of the year and merely looking, listening, smelling—feeling for the changing of the seasons.

Here is a little something I wrote in my journal:

Spring is a fickle season in the North. It’s not sure if it should appear, or perhaps it’s cautious and afraid after being gone for so many months. It peeks around the corner a bit, some days even comes out into the yard to play. But then, like a shy child, it retreats into the shadows and winter returns yet one more time. Spring in the South is more forward, more self-confident. It shows its face in late February or March and stays—mostly.

Spring is my second most liked time of the seasons in the North. Autumn comes first. For me spring is a season of promise, of expectation, of hope. My dad, always the optimist, often said when I had a bad day, “Tomorrow will be better.”

After a long, cold and snowy winter on the farm, his words “Everything will be better when spring rolls around.”

Spring often came in fits and starts—a warm day or two, then snow and cold, followed by another warm day. When I complained to my dad that spring seemed to never come. His words, “It always comes.”

And he was right.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Waiting for spring sometimes requires considerable patience.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to