The Yin and Yang of Life in Utah

That last trick snowstorm is over and we can finally safely say it’s spring. A lot of my friends will be sad to see the snow go—they live for the powder.

But once again, my Southern roots say “good riddance” to the dreary season. I’m as thrilled as anyone by the first November flurries and the romance of a frosted holiday landscape, but once the year turns, misery ensues.

It’s not the temperatures. If you forgo vanity and dress appropriately, zeros are easy to deal with.

It’s not the slop, much as I hate those blackened snow shoulders that line every road in town.

It’s the absence of color in wintertime Salt Lake City that is so miserably depressing. I do love the bluebird days, bright snow and sunny skies. But with the air quality in the valley getting worse every year, we don’t see many of those pretty winter days anymore. Instead, we put on masks to breathe and keep the kids in at recess. This isn’t new—Salt Lake magazine ran an article about our dirty air back in 1992.

Salt Lake City still takes on a pall of winter gray, and during that season lawmakers are busy driving away tourism (see Glen Warchol’s State Wide, p. 38), squabbling with the federal government over public lands (see Monumental Battle, p. 41) and loosening gun laws instead of breathing deep and doing something about air pollution.

But there’s a yang for every yin. That’s how the universe works. So as soon as the skies brighten and the sun shines, we rejoice in the red rocks and mountain wildflowers. We forget about gray skies, dirty air and incompetent politicians and start packing picnics for Red Butte concerts, Twilight at Pioneer Park, Twilight in Ogden, Utah Arts Festival and the dawn-to-past-dusk celebration that is Utah summer. We cover it all in Salt Lake magazine.

Here’s to the end of the gray days and the return of color (Literally. See Hue for You, p. 72).

Hey, it’s a long time until next winter.

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Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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