A bright golden sun and a blue bird sky is the weather report for this day in mid march. Even with this unmistakably beautiful day I feel a little somber. I remember last year. I remember thinking I felt lonely. I remember cursing that small town we found ourselves “stuck” in. I remember lugging out my jogger and plopping my growing boy all bundled inside and squeezing my enormous belly into a much too tight winter jacket and heading out for yet another snowy slushy walk. We would head to the coffee shop for a warm drink and a scone, head to the park, stroll the neighborhoods, check out some ducks on the bridge over the river or stop by the library. It always lifted my spirits despite the bitter cold and desperately dreary weather.
Then one day, like magic, I found a little snow crocus snuggled in by our houses warm foundation. And then a few more. Then I noticed the snow was starting to turn wet instead of icy. It suddenly didn’t feel like true physical torture on my bare toes to dash outside and grab my mail. Tiny buds appeared on trees and I swear I cried. It was so joyful when the sun finally felt warm on my shoulders. Exhilarating is more like it. It can only be described as pure honest to goodness happiness when spring comes to a northern town. And of course, that small town felt like home.
While I am still so very new to this area and it always takes time to find every single bit of joy your geography has to offer (I swear I am trying). Maybe there is sort of a three-month honeymoon when you are a gypsy like me. Then you either get the itch to move again (not the case here unless it was to pack up all these men of mine and bring them home to my own mama, daddy and brother) or to become a little melancholic for what you had. Oh no matter. It is spring none the less. Just a little different this time around. Little wildflowers still are a-bloom. The trees are almost in their full glory. Birds sing with all their might. Maybe not as dramatic. Maybe a little more…gnatty. But it is spring. And the sun is out.
This poem, despite the title, sits with me today.
The Summer day
By Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
But truly, it is impossible to dwell on the past when you have this right here isn’t it?