that day in february

Every year in February there is a week (or even just a few days) when the sun shines, the temperature rises, and our faith in all things good is restored.

If you don’t live in Seattle, that last may seem an exaggeration. If you do – or have – you know exactly what I mean.

We shed our coats and boots, we turn our faces to the light, we grin with our neighbours.

It was during a week just like this that I visited Vancouver after living in Toronto for two years – and two winters. I’m sure that had more than a little to do with my moving back to Vancouver by the first of April that year.

I knew this day was coming. I could feel it. I saw it in the light.

I’ve spent a lot more time outside the last five weeks than I would in a typical winter. Kaylah’s post-surgical routine requires me to take her out on a leash to the yard, slinging her in a towel on the stairs, before we hustle back inside. Or at least, as much hustle as flying buttresses allow.

This has meant a trip outside every 2-4 hours, all day every day. Sometimes I grumbled (see also: snow and ice and wind storms).

For the most part though, it is a lovely gentle reminder to stop and take a literal breath of fresh air, to notice the weather and the state of the day; it is a way to feel lighter than the roof and walls allow on our grey winter days.

Our trips out are roughly the same time each day, especially first, last, and the evening meal trips. I notice how the days have lengthened and the mornings brightened; I witness the changing shape of the moon each evening.

I knew this week of softer temps and golden light was coming. The rosy dawn was its herald, the birdsong its chorus.

And I am grateful. So grateful.

(That week is over now, and we have returned to our regular programming: grey, damp, misty shadows. Still, this morning, when I took Kaylah out, I saw a small v of geese heading north, something I’d have missed without that dog-induced trip outside.)

Spring is coming.

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