I realize I am seven days early to pronounce the arrival of spring. However, two things happened yesterday that are definite signs of its arrival: Daylight Savings Time and the bottom went out of Central Iowa's gravel roads. If you are city folk you are probably puzzled by what I mean. Consider yourself fortunate to not have experienced the spring phenomenon.
I laid in bed last night wondering why I couldn't get to sleep. I'm one of the lucky ones who never has a problem going to sleep or staying asleep; except when my internal clock has been messed with. Last night I tossed and turned for at least two hours before I fell asleep because my body wasn't used to the Daylight Savings Time yet. "Fall back, spring ahead" meant the loss of an hour yesterday at 2 a.m. It means I am typing this in the dark at 7 a.m. but it will be light outside when you get off work and beyond. I used to despise getting out of work at 5 p.m. when it was already dark out. All winter I am ready to go to bed as soon as it gets dark. Now I must adjust to the dark mornings, for awhile. The days are getting longer, thankfully, and there will be more daylight to go around.
Yesterday was also when the bottom went out of our county gravel roads. I, too, would have been oblivious to this event if it wasn't that our church lives down two miles of gravel. It was a muddy mess because the frost came out of the ground and caused the roads to become treacherous pits of mucky, muddy messes. Of course with lots of cars going down the road it just got worse and worse to the point of wondering if we would sink in and disappear. When the roads get like this you feel like there is no controlling where you drive. The mud pulls your car into the ruts and shakes you side to side while you try to keep moving forward. The scary part is meeting traffic going the opposite direction because the sides of the road are so soft that there isn't room for both cars to travel. Fortunately, I don't know of anyone who got stuck yesterday, though many used four-wheel drive.
We are so spoiled by our paved roads that we forget that just fifty years ago most of the roads were like this. One of my sisters got married on March 1, 58 years ago. The most common memory of that day that folks retell is the mess the roads were in. I believe there was a lot of pulling cars out of the mud that day. I'll be giving thanks for every paved road I travel on today and hope that those who live on gravel roads have four-wheel drive and patience.
"Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked" (Proverbs 25:26 NIV).