The last time we posted temperatures above zero was December 22. Today is truly pleasant, the sun’s radiance splashes light everywhere and there is not a breath of wind to chill the bone. I don’t need snowpants or hood and I walk home with my jacket open. It is delightful. The kids are excited about all the sun. Everybody is. My 7th graders open the blinds to our windows all the way to the top and let the light in. They aren’t supposed to mess with the blinds and I almost chide them; then I realize what a Scrooge I would be to shut out the light they have missed for so many months. It surprises me how quickly our days are lengthening now. The shortest day of the year is but 48 days past and already the long dark days are a distant memory.
Of course, our winter is not over and while it may be above freezing today, temperatures will fall again. The snow won’t melt away until April and the river won’t break until May. The other day Lindsay heard one of her young students lament, “I’m tired of the snow. I want it to go away.”
F, a 9th grader, told me he will be going out to set traps soon. He has been waiting for sufficient light and now we have it. Last April F invited me to run his traps with him and I jumped at the chance. I hope he will take me with him again this year. F is the same student who shared fresh caribou marrow with me last spring. More than anybody else in the village, he drew me in and made me feel welcome in my first months of village life.