Every year I'm very nearly moved to tears by the first real sunny day of spring, the harbinger of summer to come. I feel a little sheepish about the joy the light inspires, because it makes it seem like the rain is a drag. And it isn't, not really--winter is long and gray, but it's also the only way I know winter to be--and I feel like acknowledging the sun is akin to a condemnation of rain. But there's no way around it. The return of the light is like watching the world get lit up in shades of pure joy, all blue and yellow and pink blossoms against the sky. 

Maybe you think I'm being hyperbolic, but I know I'm not the only one in this. I was on a run a few days ago and felt myself involuntarily smiling in delight at the feel of heat on my skin, and I passed by another runner grinning like a fool too. Then I saw all the pale Reed students sprawled over the lawn on campus, and a man standing on his balcony with his face raised in worship (you'll recall this a reoccurring theme for me but the return of the light is worth celebrating every year) to the sky. My MFA classmate exclaimed over drinks last week, "It's finally John Cougar Mellencamp season!" because he only listens to Little Pink Houses in summer, apparently. Another friend said that same night, almost dreamily, that she'd never lived in a place where there was such huge pay-off for winter. Everywhere I go, during these first few days of warm weather, people wish me not just to have a good day but to enjoy the sun. 

I'm with my friend. There's so much beauty in the pay-off of an Oregon summer. Granted, tomorrow it's supposed to start raining again, so we're not quite over the hump yet. But it's coming, it's coming. We've had a little heat to get us through the doldrums of May and then it's home free into the good days. I'm not afraid to admit it. I can't wait.