Things feel uncertain, the future unknown. It’s the right season for it, spring – here called ‘spring-winter’, or ‘spring’, or ‘spring-summer’, depending on – well, depending on all sorts of things.

Apart from us having three springs to choose from, spring can go as fast backwards as it does forwards. One day, hot sunshine and green plants poking up from under the snow, the next day, snow blizzards, temperature below freezing. This isn’t a stop-start problem with spring, it’s a stop-start-reverse-stop-start-reverse-stop-reverse-start problem.

We’re all confused by it. The body feels spring tiredness from the rush of light, but the brain registers a feeling of winter. You only have to look out the window – there are large piles of snow still to melt.

A few days ago we were having a picnic on the ice on the lake and warming our faces in the sun. We watched melting snow dripping into pools around us. When we looked more closely the snow looked like ice crystals – snow that had melted, then frozen, then melted, then frozen. Crunchy sort of snow. Then we saw something very surprising in the snow – a small insect. We don’t see insects over the winter, which is a very long period, so the eye fixes on something unusual like that. This insect had hatched out in the warm sunshine. Its life would be an hour long, at the most. It had felt the warmth of spring in the air, but once out of its cocoon it would quickly freeze to death in the snow. The uncertainty of spring can be fatal.

Personally, we’ve reached a time of year when we can’t accept the backward movement of spring. We just ignore those snowy cold days. We’re done with snow shovelling. If it snows we’ll wait for it to melt. All winter we’ve kept the car in the garage, protected from extreme temperatures, and we’ve needed to keep our steep driveway free of snow. But now we’ve brought the car up to the road so there’s no driveway to deal with. Just in case.

Spring; it can go forwards or backwards

We had a few blissful days of sunshine, and melting snow this week. That reminded us to check the law on when we have to change from winter to summer tyres. We found that it was the end of April, unless there was still snow on the roads. Now was definitely the time to do it. Rolf headed down to the garage.

While he was down there it began to snow, heavily. Ironic, I thought. But then, I chose to ignore it, see above. It continued to snow.

When Rolf returned to the house he looked glum. He’d changed one tyre and then the lifting machinery had broken. We now had a car with one summer tyre and three winter ones – highly illegal. He’d then tried to drive it back to the road, but the snow was slippery and the one summer tyre useless on snow so he couldn’t get up the driveway. It was the May public holiday and nothing open for three days. Our car was trapped.

It’s a car for uncertain times. Is it fit for winter, or summer? It’s a hybrid, a sort of special, lesser known, three-wheeled Carposaurus. Or a one-wheeled, almost extinct Carplerosis. Neither one thing nor the other.

Spring – it can go backwards or forwards. Our car, neither forwards nor backwards.