When the temperature hit 74 degrees in St. Louis, as it did on Saturday, February 11th, residents came outside to play. As I walked the two mile trail in the park, I noticed young people wearing shorts, old folks shedding coats, and people of all ages wearing sneakers in every neon and vibrant color imaginable... a rainbow-hued eruption on the pavement.
Joggers, runners, walkers, moms pushing pudgy babies in strollers, grandpas sitting on benches catching their breath, grandmas hoofing it at a clip, then pausing to sit a spell and people watch.
Old dogs lollygagging with their owners, puppies tugging leashes darting left and right. I counted at least two dozen different breeds, from yapping terriers to hulking hounds, loping German Shepherds, and as many cute dogs as there were homely mutts pausing to sniff one another, the promises of a new encounter, or a reminder of an old tail wagger who previously piddled there. The bells of St. Bernadette pealed across the grounds at 3:30 as they do on the half hour all day long. But on this day it was different. There was a feel in the air that rippled with excitement.
The world awakened; those hibernating emerged. Children chased one another, families picnicked on hillsides, and multi generations filled the frisbee "golf" course. Laughter rang out, people smiled and greeted one another.
I walked at my own clip, as more and more young whippersnappers passed me by. I smelled the loamy earth, listened to the rustle in the underbrush, and paused to see if a squirrel was scampering. What a delight to discover a flock of cardinals flitting in the brush. Males in their regal red, and females fluttering to and fro brought a smile and a feeling of gratitude.
I hope you had a good weekend, too. My friends in the Northeast are snowed in, but it's a matter of weeks before the snow melt will bring forth crocuses and natures bounty.