ode to the first really nice day

i have several tangential yet wholly unrelated thoughts to offer in honor of the first really nice day of the year.

there is something magic in the air--i feel it especially at night--every year in the early spring that call to mind remembrance of years past. it's fleeting, with no specific scent or identifying factor, yet i feel it triggering my sense of smell, followed by a trick of the light, and suddenly i am separate from all of my troubles and concerns for a few brief moments of undiluted joy. there is a lightness in my step and my mind goes racing, remembering that day i played hooky with D. and C. and went walking in central park. i wore my yellow skirt with the butterflies and i felt all cute and elegant, i remember telling my friend in florida, even though i am not, and have never been, elegant. the firefighters down the street all stared as they watched me skip down the street.

or i remember opening the windows of the gilman clock tower during a writing workshop, as we climbed on to the roof for a few precious minutes of sunlight--or the day i skipped class altogether to sit on the quad with the cute guy who lived on another floor in my building, or maybe the night L. and i sat in some random stranger's garden on calvert street until 4 in the morning.

nothing drives home for me how much i love new york like the first really nice day of the year. i breathe the air--although it is not "fresh" by any conventional definition of the word--and i start walking everywhere. today the realization hit me as i walked up sixth avenue and watch the sun set crosstown on 42nd street.

i feel as though i am emerging from a hibernation.

i have been remiss in not sharing some of my adventures this winter. in new york, it often seems as though the sun sets as early as 4pm because the buildings are so tall. this makes me tired and disinclined toward further activity--even cooking--once i have reached the sanctuary of home.

and so, i make an offering for the glory of springtime: my vegetable patch. i can't lie, it isn't new. i made these weeks ago after a really very unpleasantly difficult day at the office. i needed to do something whimsical and have colors and, as an added bonus, use my kitchen mallet to make a lot of noise. the cakes are zucchini bread--which is the only way i can actually eat zucchini--with chocolate chunks thrown in. i made a basic icing, using icing sugar and water, with some seriously bright food coloring. for added whimsy i populated my vegetable patch with several gummy worms slithering around the formerly-oreo-cookie dirt (this would be where the kitchen mallet made a cameo).

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