Spring and Winter have never been the best of friends. At best they tolerate each other and pass like rival debutantes with their noses in the air. Most of the time, they war like two femme fatales fighting for dominion. What else can be expected when one of their namesake has been symbolically linked to life and the other to death? In most places I’ve traveled or lived, the victor of their battles enjoys their reign for a few months before the other attacks with fiery fists of fury to gain control. Where I live now, they’re lucky to have a couple of weeks respite. Of course, this goes on and on until Summer lumbers in like a sleepy sumo wrestler and sits on them both.
Just recently Winter had visited my neighborhood and laid elegant blankets of snow over our lawns, sidewalks, and streets. My kids thought it was great. Bundled in layers of scarves, hats, gloves, jackets, boots, and anything else their mother and I could think of, they were out the door and making snow angels within seconds. They laughed as I pulled them in a sled down our street, or as they threw snowballs at each other. Well, mostly at me.
And I thought, This is a beautiful day.
Winter’s reign only lasted a few days this time, and Spring soon snuck in a light rain that washed Winter to some corner that seasons get washed into…I don’t know where that is.
Spring strolled down our street arraigned in a dress of deep green that bled into the grass and trees that were starting to wake. Her smile reflected the warmth of the sun, and birds began to join in her songs. She laid her charm on thick, and it worked. The kids flooded the street.
My daughter and son were the first of the children to run and bask in the warmth of that day, but they weren’t alone for very long. Kids seemed to pop into existence like rabbits being pulled from a magic hat. I had never realized there were so many of them on our street.
And they all had one purpose in mind: to find worms and rescue them. I think we have the Wild Kratts to thank for this mission.
The rain from Spring’s sneak attack on Winter had brought the worms up from their deep earthen homes, and the warmth and sunshine threatened to dry them out or fry them.
The children wouldn’t let that happen.
Laughter rang from the cul-de-sac on the north end of the street to the south end. I lost count of how many children actually ran back and forth in front of our house. My daughter stopped in front of me and declared for all to hear, “This is the best day of my life!”
She declares this quite often, no matter what season sits on the throne, as long as she and my son can be outside enjoying it. My son often parrots this, no less sincere.
And I cannot help but think, This is a beautiful day.
Autumn invites us to slow down and take in life around us. Winter gives us a magic that transforms every inch of the world around us into a wonderland. Spring breathes new life and color into our world, refreshing us and waking us. Summer, well summer simply gives us lazy days and asks us what in the world we’re doing inside when we can be outside enjoying a water fight, or a barbeque, or other such indulgences.
All of it is beautiful, but they are not what makes a beautiful day for me. It is the laughter, the enjoyment, the simple pleasure of a child lost in the moment of life.
And I love this beautiful day.