At work we have three recesses a day. The kindergartners would not mind another, and from a no-window office my sense of the how the day evolves is generally driven by these three openings, which together add up to just short of 90 minutes. Some days I hardly make it out of my cave, and I rely on second hand evidence of the world outside. One day last week first recess was brisk, but pleasant; no rain and just warm enough to climb the monkey bars bare handed. Second recess, at lunch, saw unusual kids lingering long over their food, and more clients than normal requesting to play inside with us. By the end 50 pound children came inside soaked skinny with snow piled on their shoulders, and by the time I drove home things were heavy and thick, with windshield wipers barely keeping up.
That evening I hiked to the top of the backyard mountain, where snow was drifting 8 inches deep. Visibility went between 100 yards and 1 mile with each gust. A few scoured places up on the ridge revealed prickly pear already swollen and ready for summer.
Up until last year I would have said autumn was my best season. Delicate, colorful, nostalgic. You can find the same yellow emotion in desert cottonwoods as mountain aspens as hillsides larches. Plus, hunting season.
But now I know that spring is for me. The days are long, and on this side of the Divide, mostly bright. Valleys dry out, hopefully over weeks rather than days, while the mountains remain fat with water. Squirrels and birds and ponderosas wake up, and just like us humans are able to endure the next round of blizzards with equanimity, knowing what is soon to come. The world around us right now is long, and full of potential.