The view on the left is that of my office window, which looks out onto the one-third of an acre that is my urban double lot. It is February, and I am in the midst of an especially severe case of cabin fever, yet the 58-degree Fahrenheit day was warm enough to open some windows in my house and let in some fresh air.
Yes, "fresh" might be a rhetorical stretch coming from someone living in the middle of the American Rust Belt, but the outside air undoubtedly is fresher than the stale indoor air of a a family trading respiratory viruses back and forth this winter. Deeply inhaling this breezy outdoor air when I ventured outside, I could almost feel the stuff reinvigorating me, like a vaporized opiate coursing through my lungs and into bloodstream. I even churned out three new pages of dissertation material, my highest one-day total in months, and I might even get another page or two completed before the warm weather Muse disappears.
I hopped into my car in a short-sleeved shirt and ran some errands, rolling down the windows to force some of this aerosolized joy into the stuffy confines of my rusty metal box (a lyrical nod to Sting here). I even went so far as to get my hair cut, and used the open windows to stick out my newly-shorn head and blow away any stray clippings that might remain. While my mood hardly morphed into something like Maria von Trapp dancing in the Alpine countryside, it is light years removed from the glum winter blahs of the past few weeks.
True, this warm spell will not last, and only a fool would bet against further northern Ohio winter storms this season, but for an afternoon I could forget the 30 inches of snow that fell in January. Spring cannot be far away, and I long for the appearance of the first of our herbaceous perennials.
Thank you, southwest winds!