When you live where I do, you learn to appreciate the sun. From late October, to April, you can count on the sky being filled with clouds–gray clouds that lie close to the ground; dour, roiling gray clouds that promise nothing but snow, sleet, and the occasional freezing rain for variety.
Does a part of me like those clouds? Certainly. You can’t grow up in a place without learning to either love it or hate it–and I love this place, even its six months of constant gloom.
But, even for a person who loves the winter sky, the return of the sun is cause for celebration. It begins with a feeling in the air; an anticipation of things to come. Maybe that cold breeze is just a little less bone-chilling; or maybe the rain is merely damp rather than freezing. The days get longer. The neighbors start coming out of their houses, and you stop feeling like you live in a ghost town.
Finally, it happens. You wake up to a blue sky! The sun comes through the window to make a perfect golden puddle on the carpet. The cat, who has been an indoor cat all winter, decides maybe she’ll go back to being the kind of pet who is always on the wrong side of every door.
On that day, the day the sun returns, everything is possible. Gone are the concerns of the winter, the heavy loads of school and work. I run barefoot into the wet grass–only to scurry laughing back into the house as my feet turn blue from the icy, fast-disappearing snow.
The coming of the spring sun is worth celebrating–perhaps we who live without it for so much of the year appreciate it more than those who live in sunnier latitudes.
Growing up here, I know, has taught me about doing without and appreciating what you have. And what I have, that first magical day of the return of the sun, is the celebration of an everyday miracle; and the promise of what’s to come.
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