The boys run around the yard chasing each other with dollar store nerf guns, joyful to be outside, soaking in the rays of an early April afternoon. Neighbors are in their driveways, basking in the glory of the pressure washers left idle through the long cold months. Kids across the way are playing road hockey, with a tennis ball now, no jackets, just the shirts on their backs and a whole lot of vim and vigor.
I like wandering the neighborhood at this time of year with a garbage bag, picking up the crushed beer and pop cans. It's also nice to get out and pick up the garbage that has collected in the gutters and on the front portion of most of the front lawns. There is something uplifting about getting my hands dirty, whether by picking up the scraps left after the snow melt, or sweeping up the garage - all the sand and salt that fell off the car since October.
The city breathes with a different rhythm after a never-ending winter. Spirits lift, hearts fill, and hope springs eternal with the season of rebirth and new life. I love this time of year, earning callouses on my hands from pulling the rake back and forth, collecting dirt under my nails and feeling the hot sun on my face.