Three weeks ago, we celebrated the start of spring during Nauryz, even though it was still 20°F. This week, however, spring finally caught up to us! The temperatures have been in the 40s and 50s and I couldn’t be happier! Gone are the icy sidewalks. Gone are the giant piles of snow…well, some of the really big piles still have a compact base layer that is slowly melting, but mostly, the snow is gone. We now have mud and standing water in some areas, a sure sign of spring. We also have sun and warm breezes.
And I have windows that can stay open all day! The windows in our apartment are wonderful. They take up the entire width of the southern walls of our living room and bedroom. We get amazing light! The windows also have screens, something which I never got around to installing on my 100-year-old windows in Minneapolis. Even when it was -20°F here, I would open the windows every day for a few minutes just to freshen up the apartment. Now that spring is here, I keep them open all day.
As I type, I have the window open. It is 48°F outside and there is a cool, gentle breeze blowing into the apartment. It feels fresh, crisp. There are few trees in Astana, so I don’t have to worry about my allergies acting up like I normally do in April. I can just sit here, enjoying my omelet and coffee, and muse about life. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m feeling a bit philosophical in my posts this week. Perhaps it’s all the fresh air!
I think there is something about living in a cold climate that makes you appreciate spring more when it returns. We can shed the layers we’ve been wearing and carrying all winter, we can worry less because we won’t die or be uncomfortable if we are outside too long, we can look forward to things like fresh vegetables and flowers.
This spring, in particular, is exciting for me. I came to Astana in the winter and have only seen it in that light for four months. I imagine each week will look different from here on out. Each day, it will transform a little as the earth wakes up and nature returns. I’ll have the opportunity to explore new places, to walk around more, to observe it all in a new light. I don’t think Astana will disappoint.