It is officially that time of year in the northern hemisphere. The time of year where snow and ice are melting away (or, at the very least, supposed to melt away) and new life is springing out of every corner: grass is becoming greener; trees are budding into new leaves and blossoms; flowers are popping out of flowerbeds after a winter of solitude.

It is Spring.

Springtime used to be my favorite season, but, being in Minnesota, I quickly realized that it was the Muddy Season, so it has since been regulated to my second favorite. Nevertheless, I have a special place in my heart for the coming of Spring and what it symbolizes.

Winters can be tough. They are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but the cold that cracks the skin on your fingers, the snow that drifts until it’s next to impossible to walk (let alone drive), and the wind that never seems to let you catch your breath gets tiring. There’s a reason why people compare tough things in a person’s life to winter: if you can survive that, you can survive anything.

And then comes the spring, bursting with new hope, life, and colorful promises. Wishes, if you will. Wishes for the life beginning after winter. They start growing, sticking little green tendrils up through the still-brown grass in search of both sunshine and rain to make them grow. They get taller, more distinct, to the point where you’re able to differentiate one wish from another. And then they bloom, each one a unique splotch of color amongst the green, showing their true form and nature.

That’s what spring feels like, watching wishes grow into reality after the frost has gone away. Of course, wishes never do become real until you reach out and pluck them, do they?