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April Snow: An essay by local Cook County author John A. Bragstad

Apr 03, 2023 10:29AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Laura Durenberger-Grunow

By Author John Bragstad - Boreal Community Media - April 3, 2023

“Survivors always turn a bad situation into an advantage or at least an opportunity. ‘In seconds, my whole outlook changed. I could do something positive. I could crawl and climb. Now I had a plan.’ Here he was in hell, and he had just glimpsed redemption.” 

From: Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales 

An odd thing happened this week. Last night it brought more snow, and more is on the way. It is the first week of April here in  the North. 

Most people I know are in a cranky, impatient mood. Surprises are a mixed blessing in life. They remind us that sometimes we are not in control. Surprises out of season don’t  seem to fit with what we consider “normal.” 

But isn’t that the nature of unexpected events? Nothing about  them is typical. No one can expect a snow day for school kids in  April. Rain showers on our wedding day we can never predict. We  don’t know when illness will come after us. 

Snow in April is a good metaphor for life, for that is what life  is; unpredictable, sometimes arbitrary, often whimsical, and  stubborn to our wishes. 

We can rail against surprises in April, but April is a month of  surprises. Life is unsettled. We are moving toward the joys of  summer, but we are not there yet. Life rarely proceeds from this to  that, but often we wish it were otherwise. 

Surprises like snowstorms in April make us aware that life is  not as consistent as we want it to be. 

Yes, there occasionally are unexpected snowstorms in April  that are out-of-sync with the seasons. As much as we think  otherwise, they are part of the natural order of things. We can  fight them. We can rail against them. We can resent their  presence in our lives. 

But there is also the thought that warm days will soon sweep  away the snow in April. The cold will not last. The flurries will  move northward, and in a matter of days, the brown earth will  again appear where now there is only winter white. 

Adapted from “April Snow” (Compass Season)

Related: Meet your Boreal Community Media Freelance Journalist: John Bragstad

About the author

John A. Bragstad has been a therapist, working with couples and individuals, for 25 years. He is self-published and is enjoying retirement. Lake Superior is just off his front porch.

He has written three books: Compass Season, Loon Laughter at Midnight, and Who's Watching Whoo? They are available in Grand Marais at Drury Lane and Lake Superior Trading Post, or at

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