Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Indian winter"

After the better part of a week of temperatures in the 80s and a parade of students in my classes wearing shorts and exposing bone-white legs, today's forecast . . .


It's 33 degrees as I write this. It began getting cold yesterday; weather is moving in. The snow won't accumulate, the weather guys tell us, but it'll be snow.

I've never heard anyone use the term "Indian winter," but given the nature of springs here in Kansas, maybe the lexicon could use another word. Perhaps no equivalent term exists because we're happier to see a brief "return" of summer, whereas all I heard from people yesterday was complaints about how they wish the weather would make up its mind.

We'd rather be warm than cold, so why coin a term that acknowledges a brief return of winter? We'd rather curse this as freakish, as a harshing of our collective mellow, than create a signifier the creation of which would recognize the truth (the signifed) of Kansas springs. No word to say it? Then the thing itself doesn't occur--or, it must not occur often enough to force us to create language to acknowledge that it occurs. So, the annual cold snaps that occur here after a couple of weeks of honest-to-goodness Spring remain Alien, Other--unnamed, so unembraced.

Enough of that foolishness. The real reason for this post is a bit of blog-keeping: Today I'll be leaving for Austin and thence to Houston for a small family gathering to say an early good-bye to my brother, whose reserve unit will be heading to Iraq (the Kurdish-controlled north, he thinks) at the end of this month. So, I'll be away from "here" until Sunday night.

Thanks as always for coming by and reading. A happy and blessed remainder of Holy Week and Easter to all of you . . . and a warning that, for some children, Easter-egg hunting is a contact sport.


Winston said...

Safe journey. Best to your brother in his longer and more treacherous journey. See ya back at the ranch...

Winston said...

I just saw this phenomenon referred to as "Dogwood Winter". Being in the heart of dogwood country, I prefer that to "Indian Winter." Probably a bit more politically correct also, since dogwood trees don't file lawsuits.