Yesterday the weather was beautiful: partly cloudy with a strong southern wind. Spring is coming to Chicago and we got a taste of it. My husband and his weimaraner went to a local forest preserve for some much needed fresh air.
We were heading back to our car when we heard a flock of sandhill cranes in the distance. If you don't know what they sound like, you can find out here. The distinctive call of migrating cranes is something our whole family looks forward to twice every year. When they fly overhead in November they signal the beginning of winter. Now they remind us spring is coming soon.
Flying together in a V the sandhill cranes called to one another as they circled high over head. I watched smaller flocks join together into larger and larger flocks until they all gathered in a massive spiral. Listening to birds, watching them soar together filled me with quiet joy. I felt connected and peaceful, something I haven't felt in far too long.
I'm glad I took an hour out of my day for a nature break. It reminded me I don't need to travel somewhere far from home to marvel at nature's beauty. A moss covered tree, yellow berries in the woods, a turtle sunning on a rock, all of these things are right outside my door. All of them are reason enough to feel joy.