The time has come again, where the bleak, dreary and bitter winter that seems to have no end in sight is finally melting away. Stepping outside, it seems as if the air itself is different. It smells fresher, clean and new. It smells like hope. This hope is what everyone craves as the angst begins to build up in between our skin and makes our bones ache, while dreaming of sunshine and green grass when walking through the dirtied grey snow.
You begin to get butterflies in your stomach just thinking about it. It feels just like the first crush you had in the seventh grade. All of a sudden, you have a new awareness of your life surrounding you. When you wake up, it’s the first thought in your mind. You leap out of bed to check and see the bright and shiny new day. You start planning outfits that no longer consist of whatever sweatpants and sweater is in closest range to you rolling out of bed. You are actually excited to get dressed in the morning. You have a purpose, a want, to look good, to feel good.
The first time you can feel the sun on your face, it feels like the time your hands first “accidentally” (or not — you’ll never know) brushed against one another. You can feel the warmth bouncing around so rapidly inside your body you aren’t sure if other people can see it glowing through your skin. But you don’t care, because for once you don’t feel cold. You feel the excitement of something beginning. Something happening. Something new.
After hours of planning with your friends how it is you are finally going to get the courage to speak to him, it feels just like the sun staying out longer and longer each day. It is slowly building up until you cannot take it any longer. Eventually, the flowers burst out of nowhere and you finally say hello. The cool but promising breeze relieves your burning cheeks. He said hi back. You can finally die of happiness — but you don’t.
Instead, growth is all around. The grass finally begins to peak through, and you are reminded of the first time you take off your shoes and the strange but familiar feeling of your feet touching the ground. The same feeling takes over the first time he holds your hand- this time on purpose. The days that follow only bring more energy, more excitement and less hesitation. As the sun grows stronger, so do the butterflies in your stomach. Late night phone calls have them beating around you from the inside their cocoon that is your stomach, demanding to be let free. To fly and do as they please. And eventually, they are. Flying around the world, freed of any confinement. People look and smile at them, just as they do when he walks you to class for the first time. Never saying anything in particular to them, just watching and observing at the beauty. Then, out of nowhere the sun is stronger than you could ever imagine.
While this was all happening, so was life. It is still changing, and moving and growing. Before you know it, the sun is leaving freckles on your cheeks, which feel just as exhilarating as when yours and his touch. Then one day, as the blaring sun begins to swim toward the bottom of the sky, the unnamed feeling begins to set in your stomach. Again, you are aware that something is changing and yet somehow it feels eerily familiar. A pang of nostalgia, anticipation and wonder replaces the butterflies that once filled it. Just before the top of the sun kisses the earth goodnight, he kisses you. This is when for once, you feel brighter than the stars.