Thursday, March 26, 2009

Of giants and flying~

Driving home after lunch at a local steak house, my son and I were quiet. My mind wandered. I looked out the window at the naked trees--stiff, brittle, and woody-- but in the late sunlight the bare branches somehow looked soft as grass. Wispy. A giantess could dip the branches into mud makeup and apply color to her humungous cheeks with a tree, I think.

I asked David, "If a giant--a really huge one--were standing in the woods, would the trees feel soft to him?"

"What do you mean?"

"Would the trees feel soft to someone so much bigger than they are? The way moss feels soft to us?"


"Mosssssss, " I say. "If something very tiny were driving through a moss forest, the moss might feel stiff and tree-like, even though it's soft to us."

"Why would the giant have to be so big, Mom?" he asks, and I think he doesn't understand.

"He has to be big enough to step on trees," I say.

"There are some very small things we could step on that would feel sharp. Like thistles. It's not about the size. It's about what things are made of."

He's right. If giants step on a tree, they better be wearing boots. Trees would be sharp, even for giants. Massive splinters!

When we pull into the driveway, Dave says, "What super-power would you rather have? Being invisible or able to fly?"

I picture my mid-life body struggling to stay afloat in the air while I frantically flap my arms. Who wants the neighbors to see that?

"Can I be invisible while I fly?"

"No. One or the other."

"Then definitely invisible," I say. "Besides, I'm afraid of heights."

"Well, you wouldn't need to be if you could fly, " he says.

That's logical.

And I suppose if I could fly I wouldn't need to flap my arms frantically, I think. I'd soar effortlessly. But I don’t change my mind. Invisible is better. More useful.

Back to reality, when we get in the house Dave goes down stairs to study for a poly-sci test. He'll drive back to campus tomorrow.

I make tea, and think some more. I love taking to Dave. He's fun. He humors me. He gets me. He'll talk about giants. And super powers.

We all need at least one person in our life who does that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hurry, spring~

You can't hurry love. No, you just have to wait. You got to trust, give it time, No matter how long it takes. (The Supremes)

Neither can you hurry spring.

I've learned you can't hurry much of anything. Or, rather, you can try, but the results will never be quite what you hoped for.

Spring is like a baby waking from a nap. Slowly. Eyes flicker momentarily. More sleep. Another flicker. One eye opens. More sleep, but lighter. Until finally, fully awake, life resumes after a long winter's nap.

A week ago a friend and I drove to a pretty place. We had our cameras and hoped for the tease of early spring, which was only a week away, but with both eyes tightly shut, spring still snored. The day was cold with patches of snow in the deep woods, mud in the sun, and varied shades of brown everywhere. Pretty enough for winter's end, but we were impatient for a change.

As we chatted in the parking lot before heading home, Lisa gently fingered some soft magnolia buds on the pruned branches in my truck bed. They were fuzzy, mouse-grey, full of life's promise. Like soft sacrificial lambs--the rest of the tree would be better without them--they awaited the brush pile at the landfill. Lisa seemed to be comforting the buds in some unconscious way as she touched them while we talked.

I got home and pulled the branches from the truck, clipped the ends, and stuck them in water. To have come so close to blooming and then be tossed seemed sad, a waste, a loss.

"Maybe I should have waited until fall," my husband said, but he's a hurry-up guy. The tree needed pruning, so he pruned. He didn't feel the ouch, or hear the cries. I did.

I wasn't sure if the branches would respond, but days later buds began to open; the grey fuzz split to reveal white petals. Small green leaves sprouted. Weeks ahead of the tightly clamped buds on the mother tree in the yard, these were opening.

It appears I can hurry spring.

But somehow it feels, if not wrong, not quite right, either. I'll enjoy the forced beauty, and try not to think of caged birds that should fly free. The flowers will grace the kitchen, even as I look beyond them through the window to the tree that will bloom freely on it's own time.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.~Lao Tzu

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The next day~

A couple of days ago, the weather was unseasonably sunny and warm, like a day in May. I reveled in the spring tease, while raking the canvas-like blanket of oak leaves off tender shoots-- pale and yellow--as in need of the sun as I am.

But I'd heard the forecast. A "wintery mix" was predicted was for the next day. More snow. Cold and grey . . . like one expects in February in Massachusetts.

This isn't going to last, I found myself thinking of the day's beauty. Too bad it's going to snow tomorrow. With the sweet sun warming my shoulders, I thought over and over, too bad it's going to snow tomorrow.

Until I caught myself . . . looking ahead, living in the future, instead of the here and now--the only moment in which we exist--the present.

So many times I've told my kids, "Don’t worry about tomorrow. Enjoy what you have right now. Don’t ruin today worrying about tomorrow" I managed to take my advice.

I spent the rest of the day examining the remains of winter through the lens of my camera, capturing faded, wilted, brown, and surprisingly beautiful, remnants of last summer fall--dried flowers and seed pods soon to be replaced by the buds already swelling on bare winter branches.

And the next day was full of its own fat-flake-swirling beauty. Nothing to complain about at all.
Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember, you only find "tomorrow" on the calendar of fools.~ Og Mandino

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snowman's last hurrah~

When Christmas was over and I packed up the decorations for another year, I decided not to put the snowmen away. I wasn't quite ready to go from Christmas to normal overnight. It was winter after all, a very snowy one. And I happen to love snowmen.

Today with spring's official arrival only two weeks away, I decided to gather up the snowmen and pack them away. One was wearing a scarf of ivy that was stretching in the springlike sun. Enough already. Enough shoveling the driveway, enough four wheel drive, and boots, and ice sidewalks. Enough of the ugly gray patches of snow that edge the roadways. I'm done with snowmen no matter how cute their cheery faces.

Maybe when they're in storage winter will recede. Not that I blame my collection of icy men for the weather, mind you. But I'm ready for new green growth, nesting birds, and green grass.

Mother nature with her quirky sense of timing, however, has more snow planned even as I pull snowmen from their perches and set them on the stairs before boxing them up.

New England is braced for the storm that is coming up from the south, coming from places that shouldn't see snow at all, let alone on March 1st. But March persists in doing her lion thing no matter how ready we all are for the lamb.

And yet, I have the weather station on and I delight in the Doppler radar image for my area. I've always loved storms. Always got excited about the chance of a no school day. For me, all days are no school days now, but my son and his girl friend came home from their colleges for the weekend and I can feel their hope that classes will be called off tomorrow.

And I'm pulling for them.

Bring it on! This too will melt!

Spring always comes sooner or later.