There was a moment Tuesday when it clicked.

The smell of freshly cut grass. The sun bouncing off Lake Decatur. The first-of-the-season inclination to turn on the air-conditioning.

The warm weather is back.

Spring has arrived.

We deserve it.

It's been a long winter of snow and rock salt and potholes. Sure, it was all no worse than previous years, but every winter always seems like the worst, like we just barely survived somehow, some way.

That's something people in Boca Raton, Florida, or Van Nuys, California, will never understand. That we got through months of bitter, windy cold -- through Thanksgiving shopping and putting up Christmas lights and Super Bowl beer on the patio and the wicked wind of the St. Patrick's Day parade -- makes the sudden burst of 50-, 60- or 70-degree weather all the more sweeter.

Sweeter because the Cardinals and Cubs are on the radio. Sweeter because it means summer vacations are approaching. Sweeter because we realize it's all temporary.

It will be a welcome distraction at a time when the world seems more and more off-kilter.

It's also why stories like the incredible tale of how an image of a black hole was captured earlier this month take hold and fascinate. Similarly, there was the distraction from last week's horrific fire at Notre-Dame de Paris, a universal sense of sadness.

We're probably yearning for some distraction and connecting.

The warm weather fits that well. Today's forecast is a high of 75 degrees.

Get out and enjoy it. It won't last forever.

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