By Margaret Nitka
TODAY IS TRULY extraordinary. The sun is so warm with temperatures hovering in the low 60s and winds out of the south that the neighborhood has come out of hibernation and everyone is outside.Every yard has its dog racing around joyfully. Up at the corner a crowd of kids is playing running bases and suddenly I hear, “one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready…” just as kids have started their games for generations. At the playground, the little kids squeal as they go racing around the fence and under the trees looking for sticks and exploring secret places. Smaller brothers and sisters, their mothers pushing them, ride back and forth on squeaky swings in a lazy arc into the sky.Over in the neighborhood garden plot, I see rows of daffodil spikes six inches tall and swelling with blossoms at their tips. That’s when I begin to worry. What happens when daffodils bloom now? Do they get a second chance to paint the garden yellow and white when actual spring comes or is this it? The last day of January seems a bit ominous now but the question drifts away with the high puffy clouds above. Even the breeze off the river is balmy, and who am I to think that my very noticing of this beautiful day will bring frost and freeze on its heels?I follow the example of the exuberant daffodils and resolve to think of today as a gift to be enjoyed in the middle of a very reluctant winter.