No matter where we live or where we go, the weather is usually a favorite topic.
No wonder. Weather controls what we can do. And, for many people, weather influences their mood.
Sit in the sunshine for even a few minutes and you feel warm all over, and I just don't mean physically. Sunshine invigorates us and elevates our sense of well-being.
Year-round balmy weather is probably the big reason why I moved to Florida. I liked the fact that perpetually pleasant weather means I can enjoy outdoor activities year-round instead of only a few months a year.
For me, sunshine is mesmerizing. I'm in accord with John Denver's song, "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy… Sunshine almost always makes me high."
People from my home state of Pennsylvania often say to me, "But don't you miss enjoying four seasons?" I always said no, insisting that I best like Florida's four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Feels Like Summer.
Summer has always been my favorite season. I never get tired of it, not even while living in a state that dishes out steamy, hot days like a crazed chef with too much food in his pot.
But lately, I find myself thinking about my former home state, wondering if spring has followed what the calendar says, or, if it will wait for a real spring to begin.
In plain and simple words, I miss spring.
I certainly will never miss winter. I hate shoveling snow and each year I dreaded even more driving over icy roads.
I don't even miss Autumn. Yes, the riots of colorful leaves that dazzle are delightful to see. But all too often, autumn turns that kaleidoscope of color into dead leaves that have to be bagged and hauled away. With a home located at the bottom of a wooden area, it was always a constant battle to clear away the dead leaves.
But spring is different. Spring has no sins. It has only the capability to make us feel reborn, just like the earth itself.
I miss how spring arrives unexpectedly, after most of us are thinking it never will. But then, out of the blue, spring sneaks in and immediately makes us happy to be alive.
In past years, while snow still lingered in spots on the ground, I searched for the first signs of spring. I checked the trees for buds, even while still bundled in a winter coat. And when I would see those buds, I would know that spring would soon fulfill its promise.
I always planted crocus around my house because they often are the first flower of spring. Often, I photographed the colorful flowers against the background of snow.
Those crocuses were also a promise – a promise that spring would soon send up more wonderful shoots that would delight me with colorful offerings.
Nothing feels as good as a spring day, especially after a long, cold winter.
When I talk to my friends and relatives in Pennsylvania, I always ask them if they've spotted signs of springs. My friend, Linda, tells me the joys of spring are all around, with days that are deliciously enjoyable. She tells me that crocus, tulips and daffodils are sprouting and the crocus is blooming.
I can't go out and search for signs of spring in Florida. Winter is our most glorious season in the garden. There is usually a riot of color. Beautiful Bougainvillea and big-blossomed hibiscus are at their best at this time of year. It's odd for me to get used to having the best blooms in our so-called winter.
Then we go from winter to summer, with nothing in between.
When I was lamenting to my brother that I miss the earthy signs of spring, he said in no way could he feel sorry for me.
"The first day it feels like summer you're going to be out on the water feeling thankful you're there," he said.
He's right about that. From the time I was a kid, I always wished it could be summer year round.
But that doesn't mean I won't miss spring.
I hope all of you celebrate spring by inhaling its wonder with all of your senses.
Go for a walk, look for buds on the trees and green pushing from the earth. Then take time to appreciate rebirth.
It's definitely worth celebrating.