And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.
If you live, like I do, in a place that has all four seasons, you know how the weather can start to affect your emotions. Each season has a moment that grabs my heart and lifts it. In fall, there’s always that day when I realize all the colors on the trees are changing and my lush green landscape has turned to reds and golds and oranges – sunset and sunrise all day in the trees. In winter, even though I hate snow, there is still that moment of the first snow, especially when it happens at night, especially as it glows in the moonlight. In summer, there’s the heat that falls around my shoulders like a blanket and follows me inside and I look up to the sky as blue as what you think of when you think of sky, and there’s the sun, and everything is logy and lazy.
And then there’s spring, after a long, cold, snowy winter. This year, there’s the spring after the second winter of COVID. Cabin fever on steroids. The black and white photograph season that feels never-ending.
Early this week, we were gifted our very first warm temperatures of the season. We zoomed up to the fifties. I opened every window in the condo, and both deck doors. I breathed in, and I think my walls did too, and the cats fell over each other, trying to get to the third floor deck door. It was lovely, and I couldn’t believe it was only March.
I had to bring my convertible, a 2013 Chrysler 200 named Semi, to have his emissions tested for my license plate renewal. I usually dread having to do this, because I don’t drive that car in winter. I avoid road salt and snow and slush. With my license plate renewal always due in March, it’s like playing weather roulette to see how I can get the car to an emission station without suffering any underbody splatter.
But this year…warm temperatures!
I don’t think the car was backed fully out of the garage before I hit the button that lowers the roof. I also hit the button that turns on my heated seat – how wonderful to be toasty as the still chilly wind rushed around me. The place I go to for emissions is located outside the city limits, so as I hit the highway, I also hit the gas pedal and yet another button…on the CD player.
I sang. I danced in my seat. I revved the engine and I laughed out loud. Spring!
Semi passed his test and I drove happily back home. As I got near the city, stoplights popped up like daffodils, and I didn’t even care when one turned red. It meant that much longer before I was home and the car was back in his garage and I was back behind my desk. At one red light, I was belting out Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away”, feeling every bit like the super hero referred to in the lyric, “I’m only one call away, I’ll be there to save the day. Superman’s got nothin’ on me…” when from the next lane, another convertible-driver called out, “I’m calling! I’m calling!” I was mortified for all of two seconds, but then I joined in his laughter and I waved as he turned right and I pulled ahead.
It didn’t stop me from singing. I hit replay and started all over again. And then I came to another light, a particularly long one with turn arrows and such, just as it changed to red. What luck! More time! While I sang and swayed, I noticed the music suddenly got richer.
Because the guy in the car next to me, with his windows rolled down, started harmonizing.
And we sang. I turned toward him and our voices blended like the sweet air and new heat of spring. We raised our melody and our harmony to the new sky, just as blue as we pictured it would be, in the gray days of February.
When the light changed, he dipped his head in a bow and I waved my hand queen-style.
At home again, my garage door closed, my car silent, and I was parked too, in front of my computer, the warmth and music continued all around me. I said, out loud, “I think I just had my moment.”
I was right.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.
If you want to see/hear the song we were singing, here you go.