Story last updated at 3/4/2009 - 11:01 am
It might still be cold outside, but it's hard to complain about the length of the days in March. We're heading into the thrill of spring, and the added daylight just adds to the enthusiasm.
At least twice in the past week I've feared for my safety on the roads - not because of snow or ice or reckless driving, but because of the brilliance of the early morning sun.
Last week's cover story was about Cabin Fever, which many believe can peak around this time of year. But at some point (maybe it coincides with daylight savings time?) this fever is replaced by another one: Spring Fever.
I'm already starting to feel the symptoms.
I can feel summer bearing down, and while it's exciting, it's also stressful - we have family visiting in early summer and countless boat projects to get done before then.
Spring fever is an anticipation of summer, but it's more than that, especially around here. Perhaps because we know winter will come to an end (of course, nobody would rule out several more feet of snow before that point), there's another urge: to make the most of the remains of winter.
It sounds weird to say this, and maybe only the excessive sunshine lately will let me get away with it, but I feel we should make the most of the cold and the darkness we have left.
Skiers and snowboarders don't have to be told twice. And although most people are pretty vocal in their dislike for winter and desire for summer, I have a hard time believing people who choose to live at northern latitudes don't appreciate something about winter.
I've enjoyed watching Treadwell Arena extend their months of operation to May, to August. It seems the only time of year when people don't want to go ice skating is June and July.
But there's more to winter than sports that require snow and ice. There's real value in darkness, and the accompanying urge to hibernate. Winter is our time to rest up for the madness of spring and summer - a time for reflection, creativity and rejuvenation.
It's a time for stargazing and aurora-watching. Although this year has reportedly been a bad one for aurora sightings, we've had so many clear skies that Orion has become a constant companion for an evening walk home after work.
A big part of winter in Juneau is local theatre, allowing us to get out of our homes and sit in the dark together, being entertained and enthralled. I know the season's not over yet: Three plays are opening in this town this weekend alone.
The hazard of sunny driving is still alternating with winter weather warnings. While we thrill in the sunny days and make the most of the expanding daylight, don't forget to savor the last bits of darkness and hibernate just a little. Pretty soon, it's going to get harder to sleep.