You know how spring happens? You've trudged through every gray day of this solid snowy winter, a winter that tied you down to parking chairs, to boots every day, to hot tea, to wet woolen socks and double comforters and flannel sheets. Bad driving, near accidents as you slide down (or up) One Wild Way, the street the Zoo is on. Ice on your gutters. Ice on your steps. Too much rock salt, and your landlord will have to fix steps again this spring, as he has to every spring.
And then one day, one day. You happen to look over at the lawn and see out of the corner of your eye something...color? Yes, it is the first crocuses of spring, and you take pictures and your friends at work, who live in the suburbs where there are trees and colder temperatures and snow still covering their lawns and they are jealous. You take pictures every day, marking the new ones that appear, the tulip leaves that are coming up, defiantly, saying, "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, winter, goodbye!"
And all at once it is like that in your life. Boom boom boom, the changes in your life are like a box of March Madness basketballs let loose in an empty gym. Ph.d in Children's library work? That makes SO much more sense than the MFA in fiction or non-fiction. It is relief. Your friends say, you are more animated when you talk about it, that's good. And the funny thing is that it took from last spring's crocuses through summer, fall, winter, for the ideas to come back to the first idea you had, last February, last March, when North Hills Sally's husband was thinking to take a job far away.
Some changes are like that--you plant the tulips in late October, or at the latest, early November, and you forget about them. You go on with your life, go to work, get your coffee, start up the computer, shut off the computer, drive to work, drive home. And then, one day, the flowers come up. You go to a new church and you realize it is time to switch churches...which means leaving one. And the changes roll and roll and roll, like the runaway basketballs, blooming, like the early crocuses and the defiant tulips.
And all at once, you want your feet in the sand, you want to see the sun rise and set on the sea, you want to kayak in the marsh. And you are determined, you think, I'm gonna do this, if it costs me my entire income tax refund. (Which it won't, by the way.)
But all of a sudden, you are extravagant, and you want to buy the world a Coke, and you want to hug everyone and in an instant, you want to cry, for the five years, the people you are leaving behind when you get that letter of transfer from the Presbytery. And all of a sudden, it's not scary, it's matter of fact. I'm doing this. You can't stop me, you wouldn't want to. Let's sit and have some tea, and mourn the time we had. I won't forget the way you wear your hat. I won't forget the way you hold your knife. And if I forget your birthday, you'll forgive me, because it is still too painful to embrace you.
3 weeks ago