My favorite thing about this time of year is the slow, gradual stretching out of days, the way the light starts to linger just a little bit later, and then later still. It's been nearly a year since we moved into our new home (is it even "new" anymore?) and one of the parts I've loved most has been learning the way the neighborhood shifts with the seasons. That, to me, is what makes a place feel most like home — knowing what colors the trees will turn come September plus when, exactly, the leaves will fall. Knowing how February rain differs from August rain, knowing when daffodils will pop up, when jasmine will start to bloom. Recognizing that special shade of golden light that returns, welcomed, come spring.
Already I'm looking forward to sunny morning drives, weekend drinks by the water, and the long, warm late nights with friends out on the deck — those loud, hilarious spring and summer nights that defined the first few months in our new home. See, I'm hardest on myself at the start of fall, a habit leftover from the years when fall meant the beginning of the school year, a time for blank notebooks and new goals. I feel pressure, too, in January, when there's so much talk of resolutions and have-to and should-do. March, though, will always carry that spring-break sentiment, the feeling that you can ease up and let go and live a little. It's that time of light — late-night light, golden light, lightening up. Hello, (almost) spring.