The first day you spend time outside without a need for a jacket after a long brutal winter is a special blessing we receive each spring. It seems that the more desolate and long your winter, the more rewarding this blessing feels. When you have spent months under cold gray skies, having not seen the soil hidden under a solid layer of snow, the feeling that washes over you as the non-frigid breeze comes over you is nearly divine. You take a deep breath and the comfortable, fresh, new air enters your lungs. The sound of the wind in the trees. It feels like I am waking from a long sleep.
You don't see your breath as you exhale. Your toes are not freezing inside your boots. Your shoulders do not contract upwards involuntarily when stepping outside into sub zero temperatures. You breathe deep, gaze at the sky and let the warm sun wash over your face. Deep fresh breath after deep fresh breath. You are alive again.
Keep in mind that, in this scenario, in this photograph above, it is still only mid 50s, there are still stray small mounds of snow that refuse to melt. The base of snow and ice waiting since December. You know you live in a climate with a tough winter when mid 50s is an occasion to go without a jacket. In the picture above I am playing with my son, who I of course cropped out of the photo. He was running around with no shoes on. Mid 50s, with no shoes on. This is a sign that you are emerging from a brutal winter.
The seasons feel like a blessing from God. They bring us new life. When we are ready to move on, a new season arrives and with it, the world turns into a slightly different place, we are brought to the limit of all we can handle, and then we are renewed. We emerge from something old, into something new. The cycle repeats again and again. As I bask in the days just before the new season I think of so many memories of this time from past years. There is something special about this time. A fresh breeze which feels cold in September, yet warm in March. Lungs fill with the first breaths hinting of a new season.