(Originally published on March 29, 2015)
Ahhh, Fake Spring. It comes every year.
And every year, even if you’ve lived in Cleveland your entire life, it’s easy to fall for its schemes. Again. Because Fake Spring can sense your longing for sunshine that actually feels warm on your skin, not the “fauxshine” that winter brings with only the illusion of heat, and it exploits that desire. You want to believe that spring is finally here after what seems like an endless and bitterly cold winter. The winter of a week and a half's worth of snow days in a row.
So Fake Spring comes strolling in like a Trojan Horse in all its glory and splendor and gets your hopes up. Because it’s so beautiful and light, and your cold, tired soul is in need of some hope, a breath of new life. It spikes the temperature so high and so fast that lakes rise and rivers overflow and sewers can’t keep up with all the water. It creates a weather paradox in which snowball fights can occur with the few remaining snow piles, although the thermostat reads close to 70 degrees. Flinging some white while wearing capris.
And it entices you, making promises it won’t keep. Fake Spring tricks you into putting the winter gloves away, placing the boots back in storage, hanging up the winter coats and pulling out the lighter ones from last year, if they still fit, that is. If not, who needs a coat anyway? It’s Spring!
So you get comfortable. The warm sun greets you each morning as you run out the door to school, the kids look forward to outdoor recess, and the dog can’t seem to do his business without tracking half the flower bed back inside with him. And after you’ve gotten used to this so-called “Spring,” it happens.
One night, in the wee hours of the morning, Winter comes creeping out of the side of that Horse, leaving frost on the ground in its wake. By the time the alarm jots you from your slumber, the temperature has plummeted below freezing and the ground is a dusty white. The weather changes back just as suddenly as it did before, and you don’t even realize you’ve been snowed until the evidence is there all over the ground. You know, the white fluffy stuff that you thought had been left behind. And it just keeps coming.
Winter in Spring’s clothing. How could we have fallen for it, again? It happens every year, and yet, somehow we always think, maybe not this time…
But we are officially onto you now, Fake Spring, and you will not fool us next year. We will enjoy you, yes, even relish you, but we will not be deceived.
Solidarity, Clevelanders. We will overcome.