Yesterday it was distractingly beautiful out. It was one of those days that reminds the world that spring is, in fact, coming.

It also happened that all of Ezzy’s therapies were canceled for the day, and I didn’t have anyone to watch her for the day. So I decided that we would just take a little break from our to-do list and all the little rules that govern what we can and cannot do on any given day. I announced to Ezzy that we were going to have a vacation day…that we would just plan to take a beautiful long walk in our little city.

The city that we live in in was a booming architecturally impressive metropolis at the turn of the century–known primarily for the production of shirt collars. It shares the story of many US cities…newer construction cut the city off from the waterfront, jobs left, businesses closed, people moved out…and the city was left behind, gorgeous buildings sitting vacant, crumbling. But in recent years the city has been slowly and steadily blooming again. There are a number of lovely new local businesses…that are living quite nicely among the businesses that remained through the leaner times. Renovations are reclaiming storefronts and buildings that have been empty for years. And a project to restore the waterfront as an important part of the city is underway. It is all very hopeful and exciting.

We walked around the city, checking out some of the new stores, shopping around for lunch–settling on my favorite: a little Lebanese place run by a man who may be the nicest person ever, who calls Esmé little princess every time we stop in. Ezzy sat patiently while I ate, which is really huge. She didn’t cry or complain once. She just sat happily enjoying the sun and the sights, and the toys attached to her wheelchair…asking for the occasional handholding snuggle.

We saw lots of people–including a few people we know. Ez made friends with a little girl who was curious about her. The little girl won Esmé over by dancing around in front of us in line at the post office, the plastic beads in her hair making a sound that caught Esmé’s attention. Ezzy laughed, knocked her toys together, and danced along with her. Esmé liked her so much that I am rather certain she pronounced her name before we parted company: “Ah-buh” [Abby].

Next we walked along the river, enjoying the sunshine, the slight breeze, and wonderful people and architecture watching. Before we headed home we stopped for some too-beautiful-to-eat macarons (I ate them anyway, because of course I did).

The beginning hints of spring always feel like a living metaphor…a promise of renewal, of things coming back to life, of warmth. As we walked around the gritty and evolving city, as I watched Esmé behaving more and more like a big girl, I felt something hopeful inside of me waking up. This winter has been bewildering, but yesterday I could feel the poetry of all manner of new beginnings in the air.


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