Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Is Here! (Mentally, At Least)

With each passing Chicago winter, my Seasonal Affective Disorder gets a little bit stronger. This winter seemed particularly harsh, but maybe that's just because it's still so fresh in my mind. After all, it was 22 degrees last week.

But everything was made right today when we experienced the perfect weather--75 degrees with a warm and gusting wind. It simply doesn't get any better than that. Sadly, I live in a city where there are approximately five days per year that meet this criteria. Some years we only get three.

Nevertheless, days like today are one of the things that I love most about living in the Midwest. The winters are absolutely soul-crushing and can drive you to the brink of your sanity. It's dark when you get up, it's dark when you leave work and it's cold in between. Who would knowingly choose such a climate?

People often joke that harsh winters are "character-building" and I always respond that, if that's the case, I have more than enough character. But there might actually be something to that. Everyone seemed more alive today and it wasn't because they had tied one one for St. Patty's Day a wee bit early. (Read that last part with an Irish brogue for full effect.) The change in the weather was changing our very outlook on life. We made it through the bleak wilderness of winter and into the glorious sunshine. As I played catch with my brother on the lakefront this evening, winter officially ended.

But I'm from Chicago and I know that's not totally true. It very well could be cold and ugly again by the end of the week, but that's OK. The promise of spring made itself evident today and that's enough to carry me through to June.

And not a minute too soon! Tomorrow's forecast: Rainy and 40.

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