It is February in Chicago and it is snowing.
I am a native of Chicago but I lived away for a long time- and when I returned I fell in love again with my hometown; Chicago is the greatest city in which to live from April-November but in December-April it is a land of darkness, cold and clouds.
I have always been driven to despiration in February. I always looked forward to Ash Wednesday simply because it was 40 days until Easter-Rebirth.
I always looked forward to Spring Training as well for the same reason. When I lived overseas in South America I forgot how desparate Lent is in Chicago. In South America lent is during the summer and it as lost some of its meaning but In Chicago Lent comes at the end of a dark and dank time.
In Iowa City as a student I used to look so forward t0 the first time the earth breathed and you could smell life again. I still think about that. I married a Brazilian- someone who never lived in snow or ice and when it is snowing still looks at me with a mix of anger-dread and anguish as she thinks about beaches, sun and flip flops.
It is supposed to snow again tomorrow. But next week is Ash Wednesday.....