My dad grew up Petersburg, Minnesota, which is a tiny little dot on the map near the Minnesota and Iowa border. Too small to be considered a town, it's nothing more than a short dead-end street off of a country road, but it was once home to a small, thriving, rural community. There was a church, school, gas station, creamery, a small store, and admittedly not much else, but it was the hub for the farming families that surrounded it. Like so many other tiny villages across the midwest, the community was eventually engulfed and pulled into a larger nearby town. The school is long gone, the businesses are closed, and there isn't much left other than a few houses, some vacant buildings, and the church. To me, it's always felt a bit like a ghost town.
On Easter, my family drove the very familiar stretch of road from my parents' house in Jackson (that larger nearby town that absorbed Petersburg years ago) out to church. The Petersburg Road twists and winds through the river valley, and it's become one of my favorite drives. As we drove south I was initially disappointed that our upper midwest landscape still wasn't showing any obvious signs of spring. The fields are empty, the trees are bare, and the color palette is still the browns and ochres left over from fall. We are so anxious for spring, and soon this view will come alive and be bursting with green, but during this drive I slowly came to appreciate the moody sky, and the less obvious, minimal beauty of this in-between time between winter and spring.