Mirages

The other morning, in a moment of ultimate optimism, I heard the radio dj say, “65 degrees today.”

Wow, the thought flew through my head, too fast for me to really linger on it. It’s warmer than I was expecting. But in that brief moment, it didn’t seem unusual.

I had a fleeting feeling of peace as my body relaxed ever so slightly, no longer holding on to the muscle tension necessary for the constant shiver of winter. I felt my mind relax about my wardrobe as well, since I wouldn’t have to bundle up against the cold, and my options were suddenly more plentiful. Maybe I’ll wear a pair of capris, I thought. Because 65 is actually spring warmth around these parts, I probably wouldn’t even need a sweater.

But no, I realized with a sudden jolt back to reality. Something is wrong. The words of the dj—the words I’d heard or imagined—were like a desert mirage to a thirsty man. When you want something badly enough, the slightest hint can push you to convince yourself of its presence.

While it is not unheard of for the temperature to be 65 at the end of January, it is highly unlikely considering the winter we’ve been having. And there had been nothing in the forecast for unseasonably warm temperatures.

I backtracked in my hearing, and replayed what I had heard. The dj did not say 65 degrees. In fact, what the dj actually said was, “It’s 5 degrees today.” Ugh! I was off by 60 degrees! Clearly, my mind made up what it wanted to hear. And the day would not only be five degrees, but extremely blustery. Wind chills in the negative teens and blowing snow to mess up the roads and decrease visibility.

Like a mirage, 65 degrees is out of reach right now. We can see it off in the distance WAY up ahead. We will keep moving toward it, hopeful that it won’t be long before we get there.

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