I wrote a post in October about the battening down of the emotional hatches that happens when the days begin to get shorter and the leaves start falling from the trees. It's a kind of deep breath in to prepare ourselves for the long cold days ahead. All winter we wait. Bound and constrained.

Then one day, just when you think it can't possibly go on any longer, you see them—the first bits of green breaking through the hard earth.

Tiny buds on the ends of branches and purple blooms scattered about. We begin to slowly let out our collective breath. Carefully.

Our moods lighten and we feel generally hopeful.

And then, as if overnight, everything has exploded into brightness and children are dancing around barefoot in the driveway.

Color fills our days and the sunlight in the evenings filters through the leaves and dapples the kitchen table with light.

A weight is lifted and we relax into the spring.