During these first warm spring days, I’ll wager I’m not alone in thinking of James Russell Lowell’s poem, “What is so rare as a day in June?”

Not sharing my space on the balcony or patio with flying insects is such a pleasure since they have not had time to breed into epic populations. A calm breeze wafts through the trees.

These first days are most precious as we cast off winter’s heavy, drab colors in which we wrapped our freezing bodies to ward off the cold. No unsightly boots are necessary.

The diligent snowplow man does not awaken us at 4 a.m. as he did in winter, although, I often blessed his dedication and felt sympathy as he worked and I snuggled deeper under the warm blankets.

The lush greenery is everywhere, forsythia blooms, yellow daffodils splash amid the green while the Iris stands majestically nearby.

Reading on the balcony is such a delight – one we longed for during winter’s harshness.  How sad it was last fall when we put away the lawn furniture or covered it against the wind-driven snowstorms.

How can you fully appreciate the joy of spring if you have not endured the winter? Or the sun after a rainy day?

I recall an anecdote of a little old lady returning from a trip, saying, “I’m so glad to be home, I’m glad I went.”

Paraphrasing that, I say, “I’m so happy it’s spring, I’m glad I experienced winter.”

If you have not had to go without something, how can you fully appreciate something when it comes your way?

Attending a convention in New Mexico once, I met a woman living there who said they have 360 sunny days out of 365. I wasn’t the least bit envious as I thought, “Why, you poor thing, you can’t possibly know the joy of that first warm day in spring when your weather is always that nice.”

One summer, as I was sunbathing on our patio, luxuriating in the warm temperature, I heard a “thwuk!” sound on our front step.

It turned out to be the fall and winter JCPenney catalog (remember when they used to be delivered?) – a reminder of how ephemeral our summers are.

Do not delay that long walk or leisurely siesta on the patio. Time passes all too quickly.