It is cooling down after a glorious day of 80 degrees with a slight breeze, low humidity. This type of day occurs very occasionally in D.C.–maybe 14 days out of 352 each year. In South Florida, this is the type of day that occurs for months and months all winter. It is the type of weather that makes me never want to leave South Florida. It is the type of weather that shocked and surprised me when I first experienced it at the end of October, and that I continue to savor and drink in like the tonic it is, knowing that it will come to an end in a matter of days.
In D.C., this is the type of weather that harks the beginning of a real Spring in a climate that allows for four seasons: when annuals can be planted in gardens without concern about a future frost, when the college kids across the city don flip flops and shorts and hope that a scant shimmer of their Spring-break tans will hide their otherwise sun-deprived legs and arms. In D.C., this is the is the day when the sidewalk tables fill to capacity, putting every server working in a restaurant that has an outdoor section squarely in the weeds for the duration of the shift. It is the day when everyone, from toddlers with plastic tea sets set up on blankets in front yards to just-married couples setting a bistro table on a cramped balcony meant only to convey the possibility and not the reality of al fresco dining, wants to–absolutely has to–break bread outside.
This is my favorite day in D.C. It has been my favorite day in D.C. since I was kid setting a picnic on my front yard to celebrate this day. How lucky, how incredibly lucky was I to be in D.C. on this precise day–my favorite day–this year. Today.
This is a day that my Florida friends cannot comprehend, but a day that they all–to a person–dream about. It is a day that they covet with every fiber of their being. Because this is the day you can tell a beginning from an end, the day you can contemplate an idea and massage it in your mind into reality. This is the day those from the northern climes know they can acknowledge the past for all it has been it in its cold and dark starkness, a past that has now dawned warm and sunny and is so perfect. This is the day that is so numerous and plentiful in South Florida, that it is truly amazing when such a day is recognized by anyone in South Florida, because there are so many such days. I have recognized and acknowledged each and every one.
My dog did just fine on the plane ride to D.C from South Florida. My dog loves having a back yard in which she can run free of a leash for once in her five years. My dog allowed me to bring the best part of South Florida to D.C.–to my home–and she adapted immediately, because she knew this was one of the best days in D.C. and that the best of this day was happening all around her.
I love my beach, my weather–humidity and all–in South Florida. I also love my D.C. sidewalks that go on without end and that lead to my Metro that will take me anywhere I want to go. I love the brick houses that all look alike until you look closer and realize they aren’t at all alike, because of the myriad types of people who keep them so very different, one from the other.
I don’t want to leave my beach and my perfect winter weather ever again. I also don’t want to spend another winter alone–ever again.
Somehow, having my dog–my South Florida dog who flew to D.C like a champ–with me on this, one of the very best days D.C has to offer, and on this, one the waning days of the best that South Florida has to offer, makes it all okay–no matter where I decide to live. My dog bridges the gap of the best and worst days. My dog has seen it all as I have lived it, struggled through it, tried to define it.
My dog loves this day in D.C. As much as she has loved each and every day with me in South Florida.