Being from New England means you get to enjoy the change of seasons. It means that you witness the trees transform from green to a beautiful mix of reds, oranges, and yellows. It means you watch football with the windows open while you cook a hearty pot roast and and bake an apple pie. It means that you grow thick skin and endure a cold, grey wet and slushy winter that inevitably lasts too long, like approximately 180 days below 50 long. It also means that you are gifted with the most glorious of all experiences. An experience that is lost on people living in the rest of the country. That experience being “The First Warm Day”. That first day when the barometer breaks 60 degrees. Let me set the scene for those of you who can not appreciate what I am saying.
Football season has been over for almost two months. Baseball season hasn’t quite started just yet. The earth is soft and wet, heavy with melting snow and rain. You’re vitamin D levels are at an all time low, leaving you tired, achy, moody, and unable to get a good night’s sleep. Even still you head off to bed at the end of yet another raw day with a sky full of grey. Then the most magical thing happens…as you are waking up you hear the birds chirping. They’ve returned from their stint down south. Oh and wow! the sun is shining, really bright! You immediately feel a bit better. Suddenly you are not dreading the laundry list of errands you need to run. You’re voice is a bit lighter, your mind a little less stressed.
As you leave the house to start your day you actually stop, look up, take a deep breath–the air has taken on an entirely new scent. The planes are somehow louder even through the blasting music in your car.
Its the first warm day……
ooohhh the memories of these days from my adolescence stop me in my tracks. My friends and I would skip out of school and walk uphill to a friend’s house a little less than a half mile away. We had to sneak past two other friends’ houses to get there. See it may be helpful to share that I grew up in a sleepy New England town where the librarian knew your name and the clerk at CVS did too. So, getting away with something like skipping school was not as easy as it may be in other towns. That didn’t stop us though! We got ourselves to that blue house and
then we jumped into our bikinis, lathered on the baby oil, and climbed out the second floor bathroom window to “lay out” on the black top of the roof.
Sometimes we raided the freezer and brought all of the ever present bon-bons with us. Sometimes, when we were feeling particularly ballsy, and the older guys were around to hook us up- we brought super sugary wine coolers with us. One thing we never went on that roof without was the lite purple boombox.
We spent hours creating mixed tapes filled with everything from Bon-Jovi, and Madonna to Led Zeppelin and Billy Joel. And on that roof, with the Spring sun beaming down on us we blasted those songs! Most of the time we also froze our asses off. We didn’t care. We felt our world expanding with every bud that blossomed. Once again we could spend our nights “walking around” town. (That’s literally what we did. We walked around. “What are you up to tonight?” “Oh we’re just gonna walk around.” I mean-REALLY!?! I would like to see how that would play out in today’s world.)
Now as a 40 year old (YIKES!!! when did that happen?!) These first days of warmth not only bring me back to that rooftop, carefree, silly, and daring with the world at our fingertips. They also serve as a time to recognize and embrace the simple joys of each day. It is there and only there we will find our magic.