Finding Hope

Sunday morning, I heard something that I haven’t heard in months… the sound of birds chirping. Given the frigid temperatures, I’m starting to think I may have been hallucinating. It seems like it has been weeks where the thermometer in my car has read 7 degrees. It hasn’t actually been 7 degrees, but for whatever reason (perhaps that Honda wants to protect the mental health of all ¬†Northerners) if it is colder than that, it still reads 7.

If you aren’t familiar, two sure ways exist to determine if it is less than 7. First, if the snow is crunching under your feet. Second, if you debate whether it is less painful to breath through your nose or mouth as you walk to your car in a parking garage. The burn of the air as it goes to your lungs is unmistakably less than 7.

You can thank my eighth grade science teacher, Mr. Croone, for these deep thoughts. We were required to keep phenology notebooks for the better part of three months during the darkest days of winter. Daily entry was required for an A. Most of my days had an entry about how cold it was and the amount of ice that I had to traverse on the sidewalks due to my broken leg (due to ice on sidewalks), which usually reminded me at the time of entry that my mother wanted to pull up as close as possible to the door of school, because it gave her heart palpitations to watch me traverse any ice. Given what I can only imagine where expensive orthopedic surgeon bills for said broken leg, I now appreciate her real concern. Needless to say, even with a broken leg it was incredibly uncool to get dropped off so close to the door. More than two decades later, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ve never been cool and won’t ever play cool on TV. I mean, I probably should have been tipped off by my desire to get an A in Geoscience.

Anyway, the birds. Sun streaming in my window and soft chirping outside… it could have been May, July, or September. You know what? It’s almost March and spring is just around the corner. Those birds reminded me that there is hope. Hope that chapped cheeks and lips will just be a memory. Hope that going outside won’t be so onerous. Hope that tulips will bloom and there will be use again for our snow covered patio. Hope exists, but it may only be the sound of birds chirping.


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