The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

April 7, 2006

Springing


Winged women in Grant Park, II
Originally uploaded by strass.
Spring is springing in Chicago. Now that it’s light here until 7 p.m. (oh blessed, blessed daylight savings), Moose and I are venturing back out to the lakefront parks and beaches when I get home from work. We go slowly, Moose stopping to sniff every tree trunk and bush (and, okay, beer can), me pausing to examine a miniscule bud on a tree branch, just waiting to burst open and turn the landscape green again. But the greening has begun, actually… a dusting on the grass, a pushed-up daffodil stalk, the stem of a fragile purple crocus. I hear more birds now, or maybe I’m just listening for them harder.

April is a good month. There’s more light, more color, more tastes of warm days on the horizon. April means getting out my spring coat, even if I can’t wear it every day. It means getting home from work and not having to flip on the lights in our condo. It means opening the back door and letting the breeze in, hearing our 18-month-old neighbor giggling outside as she stumbles around under her dad’s watchful gaze. It means not having to put on my mittens and Moose’s fleece coat every time we go for a walk. It’s that first smell of freshly mown grass, of dirt, of someone grilling down the block. It’s sitting in my office on a Friday afternoon and seeing the lights of Wrigley Field in the distance, knowing the Cubs are playing their home opener, knowing I have tickets to three games this year.

And of course it’s the end of tax season, so close on the horizon. Which is always a bit of an adjustment—after all, I’ve had the place to myself on weeknights since early January—but a welcome one. Now I’ll have someone to cook me a well-balanced meal, to fire up the grill and marinate some chicken or pork. (I just don't do well cooking meat products, especially for one.) We’ll eat dinner together and go for jogs. I’ll find his softball bat lying around, and I’ll smile because the weather’s warm and my husband’s not working 70 hours a week and returning Blackberry emails at 11:30 p.m.; he’s reading and brewing beer and playing a sport that he loves with friends. Sometimes it feels like a big, heavy blanket is lifted off our lives, come April.

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