March often finds Minnesotans fleeing their homes to somewhere warmer. But this is precisely the time when many non-human Minnesotans are making the inverse journey—birds returning to thawing lakes, hibernating animals emerging from dens in tender soil and insects emerging to feed on budding trees.
If you have felt cooped up in your house after a long COVID-impacted winter, now is the time to explore home beyond the walls of your house. With just a little effort, you can observe an expansive world full of the promise of change. All you have to do is look.
Look up. High overhead maple and oak trees are blooming, with flowers so tiny we hardly even notice them. Weeping willows are turning yellow, pushing out pollen-dusted catkins. And the geese and ducks are returning, honking so much it seems as if the noise powers their journey.
Look down. The blades of grass in lawns are reanimating into green solar factories. Tiny tree frogs are starting to hop among the leaves, and spiders are quickly spinning webs across the forest floor as spring ephemeral flowers hurry to live their whole lifecycle in the few weeks of sunshine before the trees shade them.
Look around. Find a good spot, and just sit. With nothing more than silence and patience, you will start to notice other “Minnesotans” that share your home. They know—this home is a lucky place to be.
Anne Marie Ruff Grewal is a writer, editor and environmentalist.