It seems like it was just yesterday that spring entered stage right.

Gone was the snow (well, for the most part) and the temperatures started to allow for cautious explorations outside. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen people planting gardens and hanging flower pots – and even trees blooming out, delivering a different kind of “snow” on Minnesota Avenue in Aitkin.

And now, suddenly, we’re in June. The official change to summer won’t take place until June 20. This week has brought a blast of warm temperatures and humidity that makes it, at least temporarily, feel as if summer has arrived.

This spring has been a time of uncertainty and change for so many people. In the world of COVID-19, the normal spring of reopening resorts and golf courses, campground and parks hasn’t happened as expected.

And in the age of the “stay at home” order, the time has flown by in a blink of the proverbial eye. I’d joke that it seems like just last week we had snow, but it actually wasn’t that long ago that we had a late snowstorm – and I don’t like jinxing things.

We are moving, though, from spring into summer rapidly, and it can’t come soon enough. While, as a country and a county we won’t be returning to what we know as normal, we’ll get some glimpses and we’ll get a chance to be outside in the fresh air.

Two weeks ago, I had an invitation to dinner from a friend. Even that came with the “new norm” – socially distanced pizza in separate boxes, all of us moving in a strange dance to keep space between us and smoke from the bonfire out of our eyes.

But on that warm spring evening, I slid off my shoes and socks and slipped my feet into the water of a lake. As I splashed around, a clear view of the bottom allowed me to see a pair of snails, and one was none too happy when I picked him up to see if it was a snail or just a shell.

I can only imagine the perspective of that snail, suddenly pulled out of his normal environment, being moved around and then finally put back into place. My imagination, though, allows me to recognize we’re all in that similar position, albeit at different times with different perspectives.

Summer is almost here, and it’s time to step outside and embrace the familiar. But at the same time, things have changed and will continue to do so.

I guess all we can do is hope some kindly stranger places us back in the water so we can go about our merry way.

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