I have always loved the variety of the seasons. It seems that each one comes right when I need some kind of change, and the temperature shifts, the different weather patterns, the new flowers or leaves or whatever tokens nature offers me push me forward. Perhaps it has to do with the cyclical progress--it's not new, but it's renewing and restorative. I can let go of the hard, negative, heavy and reclaim some of the victory, the hope, the light. They come around every year.And yet I've measured this past year by what happened last year. Last year for Thanksgiving... last New Year's Eve... I remember going to New York City this weekend last year, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with a man whose hand I clinged to but soon realized he was walking in directions I couldn't follow. Last fall was Fall Forward--I couldn't wait for the end of a very hard, heavy summer. I waited with baited breath for snow to fall after studying deeply and entirely for my oral exams. Another season ended. And then I yearned for, ached for spring, for green and growth and blossoms. For new life and hope. Spring Free.
This spring I've realized that seasons have seasons. I always think my favorite spring flower is the daffodil--so hearty and so early yet so bright and cheery. But then come cherry blossoms, magnolias, and forsythia, and then tulips and hyacinths. And then come the purple plum blossoms, then the red bud and dogwood, and just in the past few weeks, the azaleas. Each season seems to be brighter and brighter.
I love that spring lasts MONTHS here. Just the other day while walking to my office on campus, I saw daffodils. Persisting. In May for crying out loud. And that yellow bud--while not as exciting as the first one to pop through seemingly frozen soil--reminded me of the seasons of spring.
Right now I'm in the last season of spring. The one where the leaves pop out--almost over night if not over the weekend--and suddenly I'm recloaked in a world of green. Covered. And first it's that almost neon spring green, bright against the dark wood bark of Virginia's trees. The green deepends, and our week-long rains have sharpened the color of the grass and the leaves. Oh those leaves--they cover and comfort me.
And soon I'll have my summer flowers on my back patio--one bright pink head has already poked through. An early bloomer. My basil plant is thriving, ready to season my pastas and pizzas. And then the refreshing breezes of fall, the vulnerability of losing my leaf cover, and welcome snow. Over and over.
It's a matter of opening my eyes and taking it all in. And restoring myself. Each time.