This is the ugliest time of the year in Chicago. The snow has melted and so there isn’t even a remnant of white covering up the trash that has accumulated over the winter. The ground is soggy, and not a blade of green grass is in sight. Nor are any buds sprouting on the barren trees, nor are the forsythia bushes sending their yellow into the world.

It’s a time of drab, and yet it is a time of immense light. Daylight savings time has brought longer days, and our apartment is filled with white light, because, thanks to the naked trees, there is no shade from the trees outside.

I want to be outside despite the ugliness. I am out walking because temperatures are finally above freezing. Mainly, I face the sun and ignore the trash. I wear shades to see in all that bright light, and I still wear my winter boots against the ground’s sogginess. And I am full of hope that soon there will be green grass and tender buds and a burst of color on a bush. Soon, we will have left winter entirely behind and will have settled into spring with its rain and flowers. For now, we’re in between, and I’m trying to make the best of that.