all at once

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, originally uploaded by P. Jeff Smith.

it’s amazing to me how quickly things change. how i feel the dread of winter creeping in as october starts to end. people are loving fall, with their sweaters and hoodies and whatnot. i’m inwardly groaning at what i know is inevitably coming. sooner or later (although things here have seemed to shift somewhat; winter takes a little more time to come and a little more time to go) i know i’ll be hunkered down for a long winter’s trudge.

when it finally comes, i think i’m more prepared now. i’m just sort of steeled. i don’t know. i almost think it’s a worse way to live, gritting my teeth, waiting for the blow. that’s no way to live. but i do it, and i am always amazed at how shocked some people are about it. it’s like watching my friend go through round after round with the ex who is terribly emotionally abusive to her. i don’t understand how she is ever surprised at what a fucking dick he is. really? what made you think it’d be different this time?

and when chicago comes back at me with her terrible cold and her terrible snow and her terrible dreary days, i always am incredulously shaking my head at the people who can’t seem to figure out that this is how it always is. this is how she always comes. this is how it always goes. even when it’s delayed and i’m hoping against hope maybe it won’t be that bad, i know it’s just a matter of time. i know it will come one day or another.

but eventually, it ends. and i never quite trust it. and i’m wise not to. we got a few late weird snows this year, too. i know about those. i’m not really surprised, either. i hate them, but i’m not too shocked. but what kind of gets me is how quickly it all turns around. maybe i don’t notice because i’m still in the corner, hiding my head, trying to recover. maybe because it’s because i’m just not wont to believe spring is really here until i’ve had a couple of 70 degree days in a row followed by two weeks with no days below 50.

but one day i look around and all the trees have leaves and the grass is green and there are flowers everywhere and … well, i finally hit the push mark this past week or so. i smelled and then started to see lilacs everywhere. they’re my favorite. we had a lilac tree in my yard my whole life. and i just love that smell. they come in so many different shades — from white through all the shades of purple you can imagine to royal, regal, purple. they’re just so great.

my dad pruned our lilac tree one year and it’s never been the same. my childhood willow tree had to go this year as well. the last few years have been years of loss. but i am glad to see that spring is here and flowers are out, and despite anything i do or don’t do, life continues on and continues to renew itself. now if i can just not lament how fast may is already going and not freak out about how quickly we’re headed toward the longest day of the year, i’ll be all right.

for now, i just need to take the time to stop and enjoy the flowers.

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