An early early spring

It was 49 degrees here in Milwaukee today.

A week and a half ago, the high temperature for a week straight was 8 degrees, hitting negative 20 in the dead of night. But today, it was as if spring had quite spontaneously sprung.

The sun was shining and I propped my window up while I worked. Not wanting to waste the weather, I took a drive with my sister Theresa to drop off some home-baked bread to a friend, and then take a much needed trip to the grocery store.

Everywhere we looked we saw people outside – running in shorts, walking with family, playing at parks. Shorts, tshirts, footballs. People and running water filled the streets as icicles and snow banks taller than cars that had sat frozen and stagnant for more than two months straight now, at last, started to shrink and give themselves begrudgingly over to the warm air and cheery demeanors of passersby.

We sped along the highway, talking about what the warm weather does to everyone’s emotions and attitudes. The car windows were down halfway, and Theresa looked up past the steering wheel. “Look at the sky! It’s huge! It grew today.”

We both smiled and nodded along with the music a while. But then I thought about what she’d said.

This was one of those many many sentences out of Theresa’s mouth that, at first, sounded like another goofy babble. But with a second’s pause, seemed so profound. She often does that. Inside a cocoon of joyful shrieks and outrageous sentiments, she tucks little nuggets of profound and beautiful thought. She brings words together in ways that I’ve only ever heard Theresa able to do.

“Look at the sky! It’s huge! It grew today.”

With the sun and the warmth and the birds filling the sky, flapping under clouds and an early moon, and rivers of melted water filling the roads reflecting its grandeur, it did really seem as if the sky had grown. Huge and beautiful. It was limitless. Stretching on brightly for ever and ever.

I looked out and smiled again. And looked intently out the windows.

Too soon though, angry clouds swept across the sky, and blocked out the sun. And suddenly the world was pale and cold again. The sky drew close – small and dark.

But it will grow again.