It is 6:32 a.m. on a Wednesday, and I am walking in the side of the street. The street! Like a common hooligan! I forgive myself quickly, the sidewalks being a heaped mess of frozen/melted/frozen topography, challenging ribbons of ankle-breaking treachery.
And I watch for cars.
Just three months ago, this time of day looked much the same as midnight. Today, the sun is cresting the horizon; and the world is filled with the soft, hopeful light of impending spring.
A man walking a yellow Lab and sensibly walking on the sidewalk approaches. It is a neighbor. He raises an arm. “Mornin’, Pearl!” he shouts.
I wave back. “Good morning!” I leave off his name, as I am unsure of it. Embarrassingly, I rarely remember names, only faces.
He takes another couple steps, slows. “Eighteen degrees this morning,” he says.
I turn to walk backwards, keep moving. I have, after all, a bus to catch. “You can really tell, too, can’t you? Practically warm!”
He grins. “I hear it’ll be 40 degrees by the weekend,” he says.
“We’ll have to set up a pool in the backyard,” I say, “just to cool off.”
“We lived through another one!” he says, moving further and further away. “Have a good day!”
“You, too,” I say.
And just like that, it is decided: we will both have a good day.
The sky seems to brighten just a little more.