Saturday, March 24, 2007

Loufdoli (Spring I)

In this part of the world, weather is important for it can change quickly and profoundly. Yet, when I search for a term to describe what is happening outside my window, I am stymied. American Indians probably have a word for it, but I am not aware of one in English. So, I shall invent one: Loufdoli.

Loufdoli (n) 1. The time of year when the earth first begins to thaw. 2. The earliest part of the Spring season 3. Season between the last snowfall and Spring rains. 4. Disappearance of snow cover. 5. Sudden rush of raison d'etre. 6. Maple syrup time.

Loufdoli happens rapidly in Minnesota and is brief. One day you are wearing an overcoat, cursing the cold. The next day you are in shorts thankfully enjoying the sudden increase in temperature. You laugh at your friends vacationing in Florida or Mexico who are missing this resurrection of life and spirit.

The smell of Loufdoli most characterizes the season for me. The mixed odors of thawing earth and dog feces combine with the warmer humid air to produce a distinctive base aroma. There are also more subtle undertones of last fall's compost and the awareness automobile exhaust. Loufdoli is a virtual cacophony of scents bombarding our reawakened olfactory sense.

The early birds fly wildly about seeking prime nesting sites. A cardinal takes over a shrub next to the house. A swallow returns to check out a protected spot on our porch light. Canadian geese honk nosily as they swoop through the area. Other little migrates dart about on the way to Northern Canada. Loufdoli is this too.

One could write thousands of words trying to describe Loufdoli and yet never capture its essence. Like the really important things in life, Loufdoli is too complex for words. One needs to experience it, rather than write about it. And that is what I plan to do.

1 comment:

Teri said...

It is Loufdoli here too, Dad! Exactly as you described it. Central Pennsylvania has that same damp, earthy smell with overtones of no longer frozen Henry poop melting along with the last of the most recent spring snow. I wonder what Spring smells like in Samoa...