The weather was unusually warm this February. One night I woke up to the sound of rain on my roof, the subdued pitter-pattering was so soothing it lulled me right back into pleasant slumbering.
The next morning, looking out of my bedroom window, I saw the cherry tree in my front yard sprouting with reddish young buds. A few days later it was in full glorious bloom, a mass of lively pink against the limpid blue sky. Across the street, the old gnarled dogwood tree transformed itself into a huge saturation of pure, tender white.
Then I met Riley for the first time. His parents and grandma are our regular customers so we knew he was coming into the world. His story we already heard from his granny one day when her daughter and son-in-law weren't there, that not so long ago a police officer had stopped a speeding car driven by an attractive young woman and given her a ticket, that the girl had been furious but the police officer had been so badly smitten that eventually they became Riley's mom and dad.
And now his mom had brought Riley for us to see, a beautiful four-month-old baby boy. His whole face was one huge smile, his big blue eyes were saying that being with us was his absolute pleasure, his gurgling mouth was declaring that he would love to discuss everything in the world with us. He also made it clear that he considered my finger a delicacy and kept trying to have a bite.
Seeing Riley was just like seeing spring. Both bring a happy smile to anyone they touch.