spring fever

So we came home from our vacation in the sunny south to some depressing New England weather: snow, rain, wind and a week without the sun. It’s always hard when I say goodbye to my oldest, knowing I won’t see him for several months at least, and this time I had to say goodbye to other family as well. The dark days that first week of April just seemed fitting, and I hibernated and got back into our schooling routine and enjoyed sleeping in my own bed and cooking in my own kitchen. Traveling and eating out for a week is the best cure for the cooking blues, that’s for sure. I’m inspired by food again, which is great since I spend most of my time feeding people.

But then the weather began to improve, and my spirits have lifted as I’ve been able to be outside more. Temperatures started to creep into the fifties, and the sun came out. That’s all it takes, for me. I sometimes force myself to go out when it’s dark and cold, but I don’t enjoy it. And it seems like everyone in my family now craves the warmth- no one likes the cold days. The boys did get really into snowboarding in February and March, but Jesse still said he would trade it for a more tropical climate in an instant. Didn’t even hesitate.

But I grew up in Florida so I know that everything has it’s price. The endless heat and humidity wears on you, and you hibernate in the hot months the same way you do in the winter up north. We’ve visited California and we all agree that the weather was probably the most perfect of any place we’ve been, but that state has a whole lot of problems too. It’s good to learn to be content anywhere I guess, but I do see us eventually migrating toward a warmer climate over time, given the fact that no one really likes winter.

I’ve realized that part of my sensitivity includes weather, which is why I tend to write about it. I’m like Goldilocks- I don’t want to be too hot or too cold. When it’s just right, I’m in heaven. And I make the most of it, throwing open the windows and humming to myself, going outside with the kids and being thankful for the blessing of a beautiful day.

There are some disturbing things happening in the world- I try not to get too worried but the news feels frightening. Yet I know there is nothing I can do. I have a family to care for. I have a faith that guides me, a belief in the idea that good will ultimately prevail. I also have lots of doubt and questions, but what works for me is to simply get up every morning and do the best I can with the life I’ve been given. I find so much joy in the simple things, the everyday moments. This is the gift that age gives you, the ability to appreciate what is happening right now, knowing that it will soon be in the past and may or may not even be remembered.

The last four days have been nice. Warm enough to turn the heat off and throw open the windows. We unfurl, like buds seeking the sun and growth of spring. Our clothes change, our attitudes become lighter. Just when it seems that we can’t take one more minute of winter, spring arrives with the promise of new life and green plants, of flowers and long barefoot days, of swimming and ice cream and those glorious summer evenings.

Today we had a little taste of that. It was the warmest day so far- not really a beach day yet, despite the crowds and bathing suits, but a good day to be outside. We walked the beach, went for ice cream, walked in the woods. Now I am sitting here with a glass of wine, enjoying the sound of the peepers, happy to be alive.

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