I’m writing this on a beautiful, unseasonably warm October afternoon. This is the first October in memory where I have comfortably worn shorts THREE times. These rare and wonderful warm fall days are a welcome excuse to visit a park, or work outside on our patio, and open the windows, because – how many other opportunities will I have?
I wish I describe the feeling I get when I’m outside during the day. It’s a mix of happy and excited and thankful and optimistic that I haven’t felt since I lived in western Maine. Opportunity is everywhere and nothing is impossible. There is not a piece of me that takes this for granted.
Most afternoons, after Max is home from daycare, I take the dogs (and Max) on a walk around our neighborhood. We stroll the same path each time. And I appreciate the opportunity to stretch my legs, clear my head, and breathe fresh air. We rarely see people, apart from the occasional mom or retiree in between errands.
But today was different.
Today we were greeted with pleasant conversation, introductions, and some ear scratches for cassie (our Australian Shepard). Today we met our neighbors. We talked to many of them. And we promised to ‘stop by and say hi’ again soon.
That’s the thing about unseasonably nice weather – it has a way of bringing out the nicest parts of people.
So when I shouted “it’s beautiful today!” to an old man, sweeping leaves off a side street (probably just to enjoy the day), his response was perfect:
“let’s hope it stays like this until Easter!”
For half a second, I imagined living here in New England, with all that it has to offer, and replacing cold, wet, winter days with the happy optimism of a warm October afternoon and I thought “that would be the perfect place to live”.
Unfortunately, that is not what we have in store for this winter. In fact, forecasters are predicting another miserable, cold, record-snow, logistical nightmare of a winter. And I’m completely petrified of it. Not just for the cold (that’s the least of the problems!). It’s the sick days, managing the winter gear, the length of time it takes to get all of the kids with all of their stuff out the door, the time spent indoors, the short days, and – fine – the cold.
So, for now, I’m going to imagine – for a moment – that I live in a place where October lasts until Easter. And I couldn’t be happier.