Tag Archives: Spring

April Showers Bring May Showers

cats

This month has been a meteorological cat fight in Rhode Island. Rain and more rain. Hot humid scorcher of a day where you show those pale legs because who cares in this heat, followed by why did I put all the sweaters away, followed by a shit load of grey rainy dreary damp my-whole-body-aches days.

And for someone who already hates the spring (don’t judge), this weather is reeking havoc. The smell of wet grass and things growing and the sound of birds crazily chirping and neighbors hammering and mowing and greeting one another and the density of it all. The thick labor of coming back to life then retreating then coming back again. I’m exhausted.

April is supposed to be the cruelest month but May’s been vicious as far as I’m concerned. I feel slow and fat and foggy and nervous and hesitant and insecure and just not up for it all. Coming out of the cave. Jumping through metamorphic hoops to face sunlight and cookouts and mosquitos and overgrown tomatoes that burst on the vine and tics on the dogs and my ugly bare toes and vacations I never take.

And then there are days when I catch a whiff of childhood so strong it takes my breath away. And there’s Mother’s Day, and my mother’s birthday, and the fuchsia rhododendron blooming in my yard that I know she would love. She loved spring. She loved planting and pruning and coaxing the dead back to unruly brilliant life.

May will always be my mother’s month, and while some will be rainier or hit me harder than others, I know I will get through it. I know May will end and June will begin and I will start over, planting, pruning, coaxing, in this blog or a notebook or some ratty old short story, tweaking and cutting and adding words. We didn’t always have a lot in common, but we both needed something to quell the demons, self-made and otherwise.

There are only a few days left – it’s Memorial Day weekend and that has certainly taken on new meaning for me. They are promising sun and warmer weather. They are promising that this too shall pass. Am I ready? Never. But it’s okay because I face it anyway. Come. Get me. Spring.

“In the motion of the very leaves of spring in the blue air there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart.”  -Taken from Mary Oliver’s Upstream who took it from Shelly’s On Love

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Freedom’s Just Another Word

Today I saw a man on a bicycle. His thick white hair billowed around his head like a cloud. He wore a blue shirt and tiny white gym shorts. His bicycle was an old-fashioned upright, no lightweight racing bike or fancy mountain bike for him. A bright yellow milk crate was strapped to the rack with bungee cords. He was a throwback, a Grateful Dead follower, a snake charmer, a Reiki instructor, a draft dodger, a mountain climber, a healer.  He was wind personified, and he brought me back. Way back.

Back to reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Little Prince. Hanging posters of the Desiderata poem on my wall. Writing soulful quotes in a shiny green journal. A favorite: “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” Driving around in with D. in her Mustang, feeling like we could go anywhere, do anything, but basically staying within a 20 mile radius, going to bookstores, and eating onion rings and brownie sundaes at the Big Boy restaurant. But we felt free.

Now, driving feels like an obligation, not freedom. Jonathan Livingston Seagull makes me gag a little just thinking about it, I can’t even pronounce Desiderata, and that ridiculous quote–what’s that about? OK, I still eat onion rings. But they’re a vegetable, right?

Why did that mysterious bike rider make me feel nostalgic and old and crabby. Maybe because I haven’t felt that sense of freedom in eons. Maybe I wanted to be on my bike. No bright yellow milk crate but it’s an awesome bike. Maybe I wanted him to take me to a Grateful Dead concert (are those guys still alive?) or read me poetry or fix my chakra–I’m sure it’s broken. Maybe I wanted to walk along a silent beach. Although I should probably avoid seagulls for a while.

It’s the first day of spring–maybe it’s just the sludge that washes up with this season. All that sunshine and the smell of dirt and the chirping birds and things growing again after so much dormancy. I know  a lot of people love spring, but all that rebirth gets on my nerves. And we’re just getting started here. TS Eliot called it–April is the cruelest month.

And yet, I miss feeling free. I miss my ignorance and youth. Would I go back? Never. But maybe I should strap a yellow milk crate on my bike rack.

Would you?

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