Spring melt and social meltdown might seem in synchrony this year. Global pandemic, climate crisis, 6th great extinction…while up close and personal, our evenings see us hauling hay and water across rotting snow, or where we must cross the driveway, slogging mud. Not easy, and some might complain.

But really? Last week our first mountain bluebirds arrived, early female scouts not as bright as the one pictured, slipping among brief hatches of soft insects. i can’t find it in me NOT to love spring. Falling down reminds me of being a kid. If no one’s looking, i’ll jump in the mud and listen to it gurgle when my boots try to leave. Spring loves me too, and challenges me to broader perspectives.

Where else are challenges pushing us to love our planet? The expansion of the Gobi Desert can partly be blamed on urban smog; deforestation, overgrazing and water depletion all quicken the pace of desertification, adding to air quality deterioration. Dust storms increase, affecting 5 Asian countries. A cornucopia of toxic pollutants, including heavy metals, viruses, herbicides and more, often accompany the storms. 

By 2014, solar panels covered about three times as much of the Gobi as three years earlier. And by April 2015, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), China’s capacity from solar panels was over 33 GW. Critically endangered wild Bactrian camels (C. ferus) in the Gobi might benefit from these efforts to cut fossil fuel emissions.

Melting seasons, with all their challenges, carry us into the future.

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