When the sun came out it was hurt-your-eyes dazzling. Scouring the last of the drabs away, it warmed the valley and shot sparkles through the river, making even the cormorants seem majestic and beautiful. The apple tree out back is beginning to show hints of pink where the flowers will be, and the watershed is a vibrant, almost lurid green - if you listen closely, you can almost hear the eager shoots shoving up through the muck into the light of day.
A day full of promise, of thinking of projects-yet-to-come, of dreaming about getting your hands dirty in the good black earth.
I don't know what the weather was like the day my father in law was born, but he -true to his personality! - chose a spectacular day to make his exit.
Rest in peace, Freeman. I like to think the clouds opened up and he went away on the sunlight and the blossom-scented breeze.
We're all going to miss you, Papa.