The sky was fire and tropical ocean and newborn skin this morning. A front is moving in to what has been clear, crisp Autumn weather, and the sun rising east of the clouds made a spectacular display of the bowl over the world as we drove to school this morning.
Ravel’s “Pavane For A Dead Princess” happened to be on the radio, providing a lush soundtrack to what should have been a hectic, little bit late drive, as cars swirled around the school like angry bees. I couldn’t seem to get agitated, though; the world around me made me grateful for the excuse to get up, even after a night with too little sleep. We moved through the streets in a peaceful cocoon, cresting a hill and exhaling as the trees opened and the sky surrounded us.
Sunrises are fleeting, changing with each moment, and by the time I dropped my daughter at the curb at school the sky was just a pale, morning blue with gray clouds moving in. I should have taken a picture when I could, but I simply didn’t think about it. The moment was all there was. It’s a little bit like raising kids, I guess. The beautiful moments are fleeting but change your outlook on the whole endeavor, enriching what otherwise would be an ordinary existence.
Perhaps the weather will turn colder today, perhaps it will rain. It won’t make any difference to me. A little bit of this morning’s skyfire will stay with me throughout the day, simply because I was up and witnessed it.
It is April, and looks like February in my snowy yard. My hope of a warm day is on hold, but I know it’s coming. With enough patience and perseverance (and perhaps a snow shovel), I’ll get to what I want: warm days in which I can wear shorts and not have to have a jacket when I go out.
Things sometimes stalemate or plateau, no matter how much you want them or how hard you are working. Often if I’m trying to lose weight, it just gets to a point where I’m still working as hard as I did, but seeing no results. I stay at the same weight, no matter how much I am active or how well I eat. Then, usually all of a sudden, the weight starts dropping off again, as though a logjam has broken.
It seems to be the same with my playing and search for gigs. I am in a little area of static stability at the moment, but now is not the time to give up. If I keep on doing what I am doing, even ramping it up a little, sooner or later whatever is holding me up will release, and I’ll be moving again.
It takes more effort to push through what seems to be a delay. Perhaps that is so that if I have enough desire and resolve to not give up, I’ll be moving at a greater strength and velocity when it clears.
Forsythia in bloom. Grass greening. Ground softening and loosening. Branch tips fattening into buds. Neighborhoods awakening and children outside playing for short spells. Garden plans being made. Squirrels and bunnies and birds cavorting in the yard. Easter decorations in stores. Ice cream stands dark all winter starting to open for business. Ball fields full and runners charging around the bases. Sunshine and showers in equal measure. Snow.
April is a fickle month. One day coatless, one day searching high and low for the mittens I misplaced. Today we have blustery winds and snow showers, which puts a little damper on my sun-worshipper within. I know we are moving forward, though, so I refuse to let a little frozen water change my hopeful mood. I’ll move through the cutting wind with my chin in my collar and my eyes squinched mostly shut, thinking of warmer days soon to come and planning my summer vacation.
Spring will eventually stop being so capricious and linger. Tomorrow, maybe. That’s not what the meteorologist is predicting, but I’m hoping.
Last night I slept with the window open for the first time all year. At least, I think I did. From the moment I remember laying my cheek on the pillow to the alarm going off this morning, the night miraculously disappeared. All I know is that I was unceremoniously woken in the pre-dawn, forced to rouse grouchy kids, and somehow robbed of the pleasure of enjoying that open window.
After a full and busy week of my children being mostly home, I am now enjoying a solitary, quiet cup of coffee and attempting to regroup. I didn’t go to Florida like some, or send the kids off to relatives, like others. Instead, I had a week here with my chicks, and I planned accordingly. I didn’t get all of my goals accomplished, and I’m sticking with the excuse that it rained on and off for most of the week so gardening and car washing was a moot point. We got quite a few movies watched, I got a lot of work done on my trumpet(s), and we went out to dinner an inordinate amount of time, making it so I didn’t have to cook much. I got my bike cleaned up and Spring-ready on the first day of break, when it looked to be nice, but that was as far as that got.
Stretching before me is the sprint to the end of the school year and, most significantly, to the graduation of my eldest daughter. There will be quite a few mingled firsts and lasts coming up, and I hope to savor them all, recognizing them as they pass. I thought I’d dread this time. Instead, it’s shaping up to be exciting and re-energizing for all of us. I just hope I can hold on to this wild ride as it careens to June and beyond.
But first, just a few more sips of coffee….
There is something highly anticipatory and satisfying about planning a garden while the air is still crisp and the ground partially frozen. As I was standing at the window this morning looking out at the back yard and drinking my coffee, I was struck into a momentary panic by the thought that we would be hosting a graduation party out there in mere months. Though portions of the yard have been “improved” over the years, I have let some sections slide over the last few as we spend more time at the boat in the summer than here at the house. There will be a lot of work to do to get ready for a graduation open house this summer.
This is a great excuse to get online and start to look at some catalogs, planning forays into the wild under-brush, coming up with plans for space already won and designing spaces yet to be. I think I’ll need some help on this project too, so I’d better get a full array of new gardening gloves and a few new tools so I can put younger, stronger backs to work pulling and digging and hauling. They can get in on the planning, too, and perhaps that will make everyone a little happier about the sweat-equity they are about to invest.
As my twinge of panic turned to planning, I calmed down a little. Yes, it will be a major effort to get everything ready for a multitude of visitors. If I keep it weeded after the party and remember to winterize it wisely, it will be very close to ready for next year’s open house to celebrate my middle daughter’s graduation.
This will be a two-fer, pretty much. The second one will be a breeze.
“That bush on the end is starting to look a little green, isn’t it?” I peered out the window, straining to see what they were referring to. “No, really. Isn’t there sort of a green haze around it?”
I guess you can see anything if you really look hard enough. You can see a galloping horse in a cloud. The full moon looks like a jolly man. It is possible to perceive a pattern where there is none or randomness where there is order. Yes, Spring is around the corner. Soon everything will be bursting with buds and abundant growth, but it takes some special eyesight to imagine the greening of that poor, empty, winter bush today.
The weak sunshine fools us and and we so want to see the season change. The fact that I am still waking up to the sound of a windshield being scraped ice-free leads me to believe that we still have some waiting to do. The afternoon looks so temperate for March and like a wonderful, warm Spring day, so maybe the bushes will get to work, just a little. Perhaps they can ignore the fact that’s it 32° F out there.
Hmmm. Now that I look again, maybe I do see a little green…
It must be Spring. One of the harbingers of the season just occurred: a brand-spanking new softball shirt, shorts, socks and visor just entered the house.
Seasons ago, when we had all three girls on a team each spring, it got fairly crazy making sure practices were made for all teams and games were written in ink on the schedule. The family would sometimes have to split up to get all the girls where they needed to be. We usually ended up having three places to be at the same time, but somehow we managed. I try to get to all the girl’s games so it got to be difficult to have it all work out evenly.
This year there is only the youngest daughter on a team. It should be a bit easier to manage, though I miss having the older girls participate too. They are just too busy, and the league changes as you get older. Not enough teams to play, all the better players are off on travel teams, and my girls have never wanted to give that kind of time to softball. They always had a hundred other things to do as well. Now my challenge with them will be to insure that they make it to some of their sister’s games, since she has been to most of theirs involuntarily, when she was younger and needed to be with me.
I always played ball in the summer as I was growing up. I loved the feel of the bat connecting solidly, then pounding to first base and beyond. I played catcher whenever I could, because other than the pitcher they are the ones getting the most action in the game, and I liked being the pitcher’s partner. My mom used to say I was almost born at a baseball field during one of my brother’s games. I had always hoped my kids would get as much enjoyment out of it that I had.
So far we’ve only got the uniform, but practices start soon and we should get out and throw the ball some to get in shape. Luckily the sun is shining and an afternoon stretches before us. Now if I can just find my mitt…