By Jesse Utz 

The sun on my face means something

Jess, shut up!


Last updated 3/20/2019 at 10:09am

Today I stood with my face pointed to the sun. Warmth of the rays covered my face and a smile crept upon my lips. A vague memory flickered in my skull. A memory that seems to have happened a long, long time ago. Yes, this is the sun and this is what spring feels like.

It is finally here. I almost say those words with my tongue in my cheek, just in case a snow flurry comes down and blankets us again just to spite me. The roads are clear, I see grass in my yard again, and robins are everywhere. I even saw a groundhog that had come out from his hibernation burrow. Yes, there is the drip, drip, drip of the ice and snow on the roof, melting away rapidly, causing the exposed dirt to turn to mud and get tracked inside by me and the cats. I will live with that, because the longest winter is passing quickly.

Soon, the deer will not visit my yard because they will find nutrients elsewhere, and the birds will return, looking for their seed supply. Nests will be built, and soon the chirps of the young will drive the furry predators wild. I do believe spring is here.

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I know, all too soon we will be complaining of heat, traffic and wildfire conditions, but I am going to enjoy this sun on my face today. Like a long lost friend who has returned to say a few words and tell me of his adventures. We will reminisce of last year and years before as the heat causes me to open up my jacket for the slight breeze. Still a cool breeze, but the combination of heat and brisk still brings joy.

Soon, we will be watching baseball and softball on the green grass, remembering the snow-covered turf as only a memory. The only ice we will see outside is of the cubed variety in a cooler that we put there on purpose. The hills will turn from white to brown to green to brown again in hopes that the moisture was enough to keep it from being charred black again this year. We will soon be packing up and heading to our favorite lakes and campgrounds, hoping to seek coolness from the intensifying sun.

Fish will be caught as we venture out into the openness of the air without a fear of frostbite. The shores and lakes will be dotted with boats and anglers. Boats trying to cast their bait as close to shore as possible, and anglers on solid ground trying to cast as far out as they can. Both being successful. Fish fries and BBQs will pop up around neighborhoods that once looked like ice-covered ghost towns. Yes, I do believe spring is here.

Sunscreen, flip flops and sunglasses will make their return to the norm again, as they become required wear to travel outside. We will see the white legs of the sunless turn to the tan walking sticks from within the Coulee as we become regulars again to outside. Walkers will walk, convertibles will convert and the front porch will again be the place to wave at passersby as we enjoy the shade tree again. Oh yes, spring is here. I’m Jess saying.


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