Spurning spring?

pat polacco 1I have it in my head that this time of the year is about small children, and baby lambs and tiny chicks and new shoots coming out of the ground. It’s about being young, very young, and those of us past that phase of our lives are just supposed to look on in wonder. It’s all about cute, and honestly its never been my favorite time of the year.

At some point many years ago I decided that I was in the summer of my life. Natural enough. Life was full and I was as physically fit and attractive as I was ever going to be. Those are summer kinds of things to me. However, I’ve lived in the south most of my life and, well, summer has never been my favorite time of the year either. I always was one of those odd kids who liked it when school started, and dark came earlier so I could come inside to read a book. I didn’t seem to belong in summer, even when I was there.

Recently, I’ve realized that it is past time to acknowledge that I’ve moved on through August and September. There is a cool breeze blowing through my soul these days, and it carries the scent of earth and leaves and fires and I feel like I’m finally where I belong. Autumn, my favorite season. I’m strong here. It is where I am at home.

springSo I was a little surprised to find myself sitting on my front porch this week-end, mesmerized by all the spring beauty around me. The azaleas are blooming here in Texas right now along with the wild flowers of April. The leaves are all a shade of bright lime green that dazzles. Youth. Okay, it definitely has it’s charm, I thought. Then I took a closer look at the source of the shimmering green in front of me.

I was in fact staring at an old tree in our yard. That tree was surely past the summer of its life, just like me. Yet there it was, covered in shiny green shoots that spoke of newness and beginnings. I swear, its half-uncurled little leaves were even cute.

Isn’t nature clever? New beginnings aren’t just for the young. They are for new parents and new grandparents and those starting projects and changing jobs and moving and retiring. New beginnings are part of living, no matter where you fall in that old cycle of life thing. I knew that of course, deep down where I know all kinds of things that I often forget. Today, I am thankful for an old tree in my yard for taking the time to remind me about the new growth in all of us.



How full is too full?

There are some truisms that people don’t question. Eat your vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. Embrace change. Don’t procrastinate. Come on, we all know we need to get off the couch and seize the day, preferably while well hydrated.

Dalai 7So about six months ago, I got fired up about going after something I wanted. It happens once in awhile. The person I share my life with bought into my idea, and that could have been the first problem. You see, what I wanted was complicated and expensive and going to take a real lot of effort. Sort of like the time that I decided what I wanted most in life was to sail around the world. Only that time, my partner had the good sense to suggest a long soak in the tub and big glass of wine instead.

This time, however, he got caught up in the moment too. In some ways he and I are very different, and that is good. We do share certain traits, though, and one of them is stubbornness. This time around our persistence worked to keep as going as we got further and further into what we had started. Our days became tiring. Our bank account got drained. His hobbies fell by wayside and I had to leave my writing and blogging and even my online games. We lost track of our favorite shows. It was a sad state of affairs.

And now, about six months after we started, we are nearly done. We haven’t built a cathedral or composed a symphony, but we have taken an older and not particularly well-kept home filled with junk and we’ve cleaned it, sorted it, fixed it and nearly sold it. We’ve bought our freedom, in a sense, by getting up off the couch and going through closets and giving things away, and by fixing things we didn’t even realize were broken. I learned to caulk. He got over his fear of plumbing. We’ve had some fun and laughed at ourselves and then again we’ve gone to bed a lot with backaches, barely speaking to each other.

I wonder if one can make their days too full? We might have. Tonight I’m going to forgo the water and the vegetables,  and take a long soak in the tub and drink a big glass of wine instead. I’ll figure it out there.

For more about facing the results of seizing the day, see my post “Happy Yet?