It’s the last day of winter here at this northern sanctuary. The chimps have been relishing all the elements of these days betwixt and between seasons. They were outside first thing this morning soaking in the sun and crisp air and have spent most of the day basking in the warmth of the sunny greenhouse.
Each of these bluebird afternoons Missy has been asking us to open up the barn doors. Nevermind that the air is still scented with snow from the alpine peaks above the sanctuary. I think she’s convinced the garden should be growing her beloved tomatoes already and wants to check. If it’s not too cold, we usually open the doors up for a few minutes, which typically incites a lot of excitement for some reason. Everyone hoots and hollers and runs over to look out as though it’s the most amazing event ever. Though I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. It’s one of my favorite things to bundle up and step outside or fling the windows wide, pressing my face to the elements. We keep the chimp house at a toasty 70 degrees and once the chimps have had a gander outside they typically drift back to the greenhouse or sunny windows upstairs so we usually close the doors back up pretty quickly.
But today has been different. I’ve walked into the chimps’ area a dozen times to check on them and the temperature in there, expecting them to be chilly and ready for the doors to be closed. But each time someone (even Negra!) has been sitting peacefully in that end-of-winter-beginning-of-spring sun streaming in. And the last time I checked…my heart! It nearly melted into that big ol’ sun puddle on the playroom floor. Jamie, sound asleep in front of the barn doors, the last bits of winter breeze ruffling her hair. Tucked in by her boots and that crazy stuffed elephant.
Farewell winter, welcome spring.