500 words of memory, take 2
Joy Comes in the Morning

More light

Growing up in San Antonio, I associated seasons with temperatures. Since moving north, I've come to think of seasonal change as more a factor of light than of heat. This is especially true of the liminal seasons, spring and fall.

We've had a few blissfully warm days; the cat has reacquainted herself with the deck, and dipped a cautious paw even onto the muddy lawn. But warmth can't be taken-for-granted yet. We always get spring snow in April. ("Spring snow." There's a phrase I would have thought was an oxymoron, once upon a time. Where I grew up, spring meant bluebonnets and the season's first sunburn. I've had to learn a new lexicon.) 

Pesach comes late this year because of the extra month of Adar. So in the gevurot blessing of the amidah, we're still praising God with the winter blessing ("You make the wind blow and the rain fall") -- we won't switch to the summer blessing ("You bring the dew of the field") for another few weeks.

Liturgically it may still be winter, but every sense tells me now is spring. The season's first moths are fluttering bravely outside my window, attracted by my lamp. This morning I saw tiny yellow flowers  on a hillside. And the days keep lengthening. I woke in daylight this morning; I drove home from work in daylight. Tonight I even made dinner before it got fully dark. What an expansive feeling! Though I know we'll get another cold snap, another hard frost -- though it's not Nisan yet -- this is spring because of the light.

The cold season has its blessings, which I've learned to savor. But some part of me overflows with thanksgiving every spring, and every spring I feel energized to tackle the broken world again. As Marge Piercy writes in her poem "Baytzeh: Season of the Egg,"

every day there is more work
to do and stronger light.

Amen to that.

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