Well, will you look at that? I took a little unintentional sabbatical from blogging, and just like that the winter has thawed into a warm and pleasant spring (queue the Alleluia chorus, please). When I look through the pictures on my camera, there are still clues of the winter that had us covered in a blanket of snow just a few short weeks ago: hat hair, babies in their warmest bunting, apples cut with our apple slicer as a diversion on yet. another. snow. day.
But today was the second day that the children went outside without their jackets, and I took the possibly premature step of packing up our winter gear this past weekend. Now is the season of mud on all of our shoes (washed shoes drying on the counter above, ready to get muddied again). Mud on our clothing and on our hands, and all over our babies. It is wonderful to see Clara and Dorothy discovering the outdoors for the first time on their own two feet. They put dirt in their mouth, and laugh when the wind rushes through their hair, and climb to whatever the highest peak in their sight might be. These babies were made for the outdoors. Children were made for the outdoors, actually, don't you think? As I watch all of my children venturing out on foot, on bicycles, and in wagons, I delight in seeing them take in these signs of spring with wonder, as if for the first time. The daffodils are bounding through the soil under trees that are just about ready to send out plump buds. It is a time of incredible newness and promise.
I have been breathing a huge sigh of relief as I feel the energy that has gathered within these four walls over the past cold months drifts out of our open windows and doors, into the warm spring air which we are welcoming with bare arms and sometimes bare feet. I know it might get chilly again, but we have been strengthened with hope. Spring can't be too far off.