Wednesday, March 11, 2009


3: a time or season of growth or development; specifically : the season between winter and summer comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of March, April, and May or as reckoned astronomically extending from the March equinox to the June solstice

For many people I know, spring is their favorite time of year. They love the longer days, the blooming flowers, the warmer weather. I like most of these things, too, but spring is not my favorite time of year. This is partly a physical reality. My recent retreat was a wonderful time of solitude, quiet and rest for my soul, but a few hours after returning, the whole family left for B's soccer practice. I could easily have elected to stay home with A & K while J took B, but I had been away for long enough and wanted our whole family to enjoy the nice day together. The best of intentions....

By the time we left soccer practice, where pollen was literally swirling in the air, I had a headache that would take me four hours to alleviate. This was merely a taste of things to come and the warm weather that followed on Monday and Tuesday resulted in alternately dull and sharp headaches. Today the weather is blessedly cold and I feel much better.

But I know warm weather and spring's pain will return. In many ways, I think this is how it should be. Giving birth is hard. And we kid ourselves or protect ourselves to think that nature's cyclical rebirth comes without pain of any kind. Sure, plants, trees and bushes don't experience pain as we do, but it's worth pondering.

Just today, I was talking with an arborist at school while waiting to pick up A & B. He pointed out a limb on a tree in the school yard that is dead and dangerous. He said he's considered putting a sign on the tree that says, "Stand here at your own peril." What are the dead limbs I need to remove from myself before they take people out on the way down?

We do finally have daffodils blooming in our yard, but they were a bit slower to make their appearance than many in our neighborhood. I don't know enough about flowers to know why and I don't care enough to investigate it, but I kind of like having late blooming flowers. I think I've been a bit of a late bloomer. It's taken me more than three decades to really know and accept who I am. So it doesn't bother me for my flowers to be a bit late to the party.

A final note about spring. While A, B and K wait for spring's flowers with excitement each year, I really care very little about flowers. Not long ago, I said to some friends as we talked about gardening, "If you can't eat it, what's the point?" I get much more excited about the vegetable garden that's going up in the back. I think that says something about me and what I want to be. I love beauty in my life, but what I really want to leave is a legacy of bearing life-giving fruit that sustains others.


RBM said...

This is a very practical suggestion; but I have suffered through so many awful springs and falls my whole life due to allergies myself that I am finally getting allergy shots. You can do this as adult, and it has made a WORLD of difference for me this spring in Louisiana. And I am only about one year in (the full treatment takes 3-5 years). Just a thought, as you are living in one of the worst places for allergy sufferers generally, and I think you expect to be there semi-permanently.

Variations On A Theme said...

David suffers from allergies as well, which makes me so sad for him in spring and fall. And he also learned long ago to never buy me cut flowers. It's so impractical. They're just going to die anyway.

rufusjt said...

WordGirl, this is just another reason why I haven't bought you flowers very often in our 12.5 years of marriage...and when I poetically describe your beauty some night, I am now forewarned to avoid comparing you to a beautiful rose or a delicate lilly.

Instead I can be confident that you would prefer to be wooed by comparing your lips to a red pepper, or how your eyes are a beautiful shade of eggplant. Your skin is like the most beautiful wax bean around...I could go on and on but I'll stop for now.


WordGirl said...

RBM: I went to the doctor yesterday and got a nasal spray to try. I started taking it today even though the cold weather that we are currently having minimizes my symptoms. I'm pretty optimistic that it will help my allergies without requiring shots (which I would prefer to avoid simply from a time commitment standpoint). Thanks for the encouragement to do something about it!

J: Since I've experienced allergies for approximately three of the 16 years we've been together, I'm not buying that as justification for no flowers. :-) As to you poetically describing my beauty, you have nearly left me speechless. I'd encourage you to give this speech a try one evening and see if it elicits the response you're hoping for. (If the response is hysterical laughter, I'm pretty sure I can deliver.)