As I drove out the driveway this morning, I was ever thankful for a garage... and better yet, a heated garage. As I backed out of our garage I watched the car's thermometer drop from close to 30 down to -3, one degree at a time. By the time I reached the office an hour later, it had been hovering at -1 for awhile, unwilling to take the leap across the zero mark to positive numbers. The weather report this morning said the windchill was -18. We're used to the cold. Granted, we had a balmy stretch with temps in the 30s at the end of last week, but we knew the cold would soon be back.
It was cold this morning, but I saw something this morning that was like a soft, warm blanket against the cold. I saw the sun. I wanted to share it with you so I got out my camera and planned to drive to the top of my office parking ramp to capture the ironic beauty of the neighborhood bathed in morning sunlight. The neighborhood is not one that's naturally picturesque.. with its boarded up homes, grafitti-covered bridges and walls, children walking to school alone and without hats or mittens, storefronts with chain link covering the windows and signs in every language, the homeless on the corners holding their signs that simply say "God Bless" and hiding their bottles of whiskey in their pantlegs. Parts of the neighborhood are surely no sight to see, although there are definitely signs of hope. Tiny yards filled with meticulously planted gardens, scaffolding surrounding a sagging porch in the midst of repair, crews waiting to repaint a home, to paint over the graffitti on the bridges. If you look out from the higher floors of our office building, or from the top of the parking ramp, you see a breathtaking view... a dozen church steeples reaching high above the snow-covered rooftops of the surrounding homes, offering hope and comfort. On a sunny morning like today's, those church steeples shine brightly, the snow covered rooftops glisten, the geometric skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis just to the north glow with the amber reflection of the early morning sun. It's a sight to be seen. I would have taken a photo from the top of the parking ramp this morning so I could share the view with you, but it isn't often that there is a parking space open on the first level of the ramp, right next to the elevator, at 7:45 in the morning. Today, there was. The sixth floor of the ramp seemed awfully far away. I hope you can imagine the beautiful glowing sunshine warming the snowy rooftops, the tall church steeples, and the icy streets below. Afterall, it was only -1 and the sunshine felt like a warm, soft blanket.
Someone else noticed the sunshine over the weekend. Someone we don't usually see in Wisconsin in January. He either returned North a little early or forgot to head South. Yes, a plump, healthy Robin was spotted in our yard this weekend, flitting around in the underbrush. He even stopped for a drink at our (heated) birdbath. Do you think he knows something about the timing of Spring's arrival that we don't know? Come on back little Robins, and bring Spring along with you!