It was a simple Sunday trip to the store to pick up some personal products, the task itself not unlike I perform almost every weekend for as long as I can remember. The store is about ten miles from the house, a journey now as familiar as my own driveway. Exiting the small town of Hillsboro, heading south almost into Desoto. As the speed limit opened up I rolled down the little coupe’s window.
Seven days earlier I had watched outside my window at home as over seven inches of snow piled up. Today though, the snow was all gone, the sky was blue and pocked with a few big white speeding clouds. The temperature hovered just under seventy degrees. Not hot enough for the AC, so down the window went. I propped my elbow on the bottom of the opening and clutched the top in my left hand.
It’s not a convertible, it’s not a sports car, but for a few moments, as the wind blew in and tossed the debris in the back seat into swirls of activity, my shirt, my bare arms and hair were brushed with wave after wave of fine spring air.
My body knew this wasn’t another sneaky, short, teasing, winter flirtation with springtime, this was the real thing.
Too early for buds on most trees, the sparse earliest buttercups the only blooms in sight. For the most part nature still slumbered, gray, faded, dormant, nearly lifeless. But there was life in that breeze that blew in on my face. I felt younger, lighter, freer than I had in two or three seasons, or maybe an eternity.
Up and down and around the rolling hills, the noise of the wind louder than all else. It felt like raw, naked flight. People were outside, some raking flower beds, some playing with kids or pets, some just standing there, nearly motionless in the warm sunshine, like human cell phones in their charging stations.
No wonder so many faiths celebrate something akin to rebirth this time of year. Our ancestors that wandered and settled so far north so long ago shared this common seasonal experience, where the cold, dormant, sleeping, dark days slid away into the past, replaced by the promise of new life, of fertility and hope for better, brighter days ahead.
Even if left entirely alone, even without sacred blood sacrifice or mechanical toil, the ground around us bursts anew with sustenance and life.
These few moments of fresh, clean air rushing past caused a smile. An end to the frigid cold and treacherous slippery roads, an end to hunkering down and closing up tight. An end to stale heated air and dark drives home.
At least for awhile.
Is it magical, miraculous? No, I don’t think so since it happens every year. But the feeling it causes inside is about as close to miraculous and magical as anything else I can imagine, save for love itself.
These few moments of bliss will stay with me for a while, the joy, the new lease on life itself will get me through some dark moments to be certain. I can close my eyes and feel the rushing wind even now cloistered as I am in the house’s dark interior.
Angel has opened a window. I can feel the breeze. Time to go outside for no other reason than that I can.
* Okay, this isn't exactly an 'ode' but it sounded like one in my head and I liked the title. Poetic license, we'll call it.