Seasonal joys.

The wonderful thing about living in a place of marked seasonality is that, when the seasons change, people notice, and they care. The day the summer heat breaks and you get a taste of fall, the miracle of the first snowfall, the first cracks in the ice when the lake begins to melt — these are welcome moments that make people smile. But when you live somewhere that sees winters like Wisconsin’s — and especially during years when those winters, um, break records — the day the good weather arrives brings forth from the populace an exuberance so pronounced one can hardly ignore it. This happened a few weeks ago in Madison, when the crocus started blooming and the temperature hit a balmy sixty degrees (although, to be fair, I saw shorts and flip-flops appear when it reached forty-five with full sunshine, which just goes to show you what cabin fever can do to folks).
But when the mercury tops sixty-five and the sun is shining and the folks at Memorial Union have had the good sense to put the tables and chairs back out, and every cafe on State Street has restored its outdoor seating, and the sundresses begin to appear, and the line at the Rathskeller is 100 long as soon as the bar opens in the afternoon — well, that’s a special moment indeed. This past week, we have been blessed with some of the most lovely weather you’ll ever see: sun, a breeze, no bugs (yet), and that ineffable joy that suffuses the entire city when — all of a sudden, it seems — there are blue waves on the lake (can you remember that it ever wasn’t frozen?), you can go without a sweater (really? I don’t need to bring my down vest with me today?), and you may actually have to start putting on sunscreen. I nearly got burned today on my neck and arms, and whereas that might really irritate me in August, on this lovely April evening I could hardly be more pleased. Sure, aloe-vera me up, that’s fine. Just the thought that a sunburn is a possibility: inexpressible bliss.
There’s rain in tomorrow’s forecast — a good thing, considering that I need to work on writing a paper, which means sitting inside in front of a computer, not outside with a book on my lap. But having spent the greater portion of the past three days out-of-doors, I don’t think I can complain.
Far from it.

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2 thoughts on “Seasonal joys.

  1. NY is the same way right now– people are actually nice to each other on the streets for no reason! It’s so awesome!

  2. Even SWMBO smiles at ME — at me of all people! — and then complains about the heat upstairs when she comes downstairs after going up to change into gardening clothes after coming home from work; BUT al smiles, all the time. Gotta love it!
    (Yo! TFaz!)

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