I love spring.
Especially after a cold winter.
It’s not so much the milder temperatures.
It’s the birth—the rebirth.
The trees—their leaves turned brown and fell off. So they spent the fall and winter having nothing to clothe them and keep them warm except the memory of the sun and the leaves.
The flowers went to seed, fell off their stalks. Some of them will never return. They just weren’t able to withstand the temperatures. They needed a warmer place—a place to hibernate until the sun came out.
But I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day, and that conversation gave me a deeper appreciation for fall and winter.
“Have you ever had any Sea Monkeys,” he asked.
“No.” I remember seeing packets in the grocery store checkout line labeled “Magical Sea Monkeys,” but at that time I was fully convinced that—short of ice cream—grocery stores were not purveyors of magical goods.
“Why?” I was confused. This wasn’t the type of conversation we usually had.
“I kept some safe today, and I can’t wait to tell my kids.”
Apparently, he’d been working around vernal pools that afternoon.
“Vernal pools?” I asked.
“They’re part of the wetland preservation projects. They’re just dips in the land where rainwater and runoff accumulate,” he said.
“But there are things that grow in these pools that don’t necessarily grow anywhere else.”
“Like Sea Monkeys?” I asked, trying to steer him back to the point.
Turns out, those Magical Sea Monkeys were just an exciting marketing name for the Fairy Shrimp that grow in those vernal pools. They’re these tiny crustaceans (about an inch long) that have been around almost forever (or since the Ordovician period if you know your periods).
Now, here is the magical part.
Not only do these delicate-looking creatures swim upside down, but when the sun gets too hot and it evaporates all the water in their vernal pool, they dry out and so do any eggs they’ve produced. But those eggs can stay like that, dried up, sometimes for decades. Once they get wet, in as little as thirty hours, they hatch and—Shazam—the vernal pool is once again filled with live Fairy Shrimp.
Can you believe it?
Just thinking about it chokes me up. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.
There are novels like that—novels that get put on the back burner—like the story of Minnie Chance.
It came to me years ago—an idea that I would write someday.
The seed was planted, but it needed something more.
At that point, I hadn’t written many novels.
I think Minnie had to wait until the timing was right.
One day, the pool filled with water and magically, the story came alive again.
Maybe, like the Fairy Shrimp, stories never go away. Maybe they just dry out until they have enough nutrients and hydration to be resurrected.
This year it’s time for the house of Minnie Chance’s.
Next year, I’ll resurrect “The Courier.”
I have no choice. I can’t stop writing.
Please keep reading.