Saturday, April 3, 2010


Washtenaw Communty College student Alisha Wilkins, Ann Arbor, turns a pair of lawn chairs into a makeshift lounger to take full advantage of the beautiful weather by listening to her music and basking in the sunshine. (photo by Lon Horwedel)

By the time you read this, it’s entirely possible there could be a foot of snow on the ground. It might also be sleeting sideways, or just be 40 degrees and raining.

But not today - today is special.

Today is the first true day of spring, and you never really know when that day will be, even if the calendar says it’s March 20th. Because here in parts north, like the state Michigan, there’s no guarantee that the first official day of spring will necessarily feel like spring.

It’s the only season that can lay that claim. It always feels like summer long before it’s actually summer, it always feels like fall well before it’s truly fall, and we all know winter gets here a hell of a lot sooner than December 20th. But spring can arrive at any time – it might come on March 6th one year, and May 6th the next.

This year it came today, the first day of April - no fooling. Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer, but for me today was the day.  Not that it hadn’t been nice for much of March – a few days even in the mid 60’s, but the first day of spring is the day when you open all the windows in the house - the day when all the golf courses are open.

It’s the day when everyone ventures out, a day when everyone decides to get back in shape and go out for a run. A day when everyone decides getting in shape is overrated and goes out for ice cream. Two months from now the story will be different – a day like this will garner no special mention, but not this day, this day is special, this day is the first.

It’s the first day of the new year when that winter-white skin of yours gets a real dose of UV radiation. The first day you can drive around with your windows rolled down. The first day you can wear shirtsleeves and shorts without needing a jacket. The first day the grass starts to get green and the buds on the trees suddenly appear.

Today is the day when college girls emerge from their apartments and creep out onto their sun porches and front yards like lizards warming themselves on a rock. The day when college boys rediscover the joy of tossing something … anything, through the air to each other, be it baseball, football, or Frisbee.

And you soak it in completely, because you know it won’t last. You might get a day or two - maybe three, before it all comes crashing down again.  Soon the sky will cloud over in its familiar gray, the wind will pick up and the temperature will drop – maybe even in the same day.

You know today is only a tease, but that’s okay, because you will take this day and live it to its fullest. It’s one of those “good to be alive” days, and it really is good to be alive. Some days are just a waste - days when you have a throbbing headache, or the weather just plain sucks. And you know those days count the same, 24-hours, like today, pushing you one day closer to death - days you’ll never get back.

But today is beautiful. Today feels like Friday, even though it’s Thursday. Today the potential is endless. Anything can happen today, and chances are it will be good. Today you can breathe. Today you’re full of energy. Today nothing hurts and you feel young again - even if you’re not.

Today you want to live forever, because today it’s finally here - the first day of spring!

1 comment:

  1. The first day of spring is a wonderous thing. For me, the first real sign of spring is when the top comes down on the convertible, and that was Friday for me. Happy spring and Easter to you.