Good friends are those you can call to say you have some pie left over from a gathering the night before and they eagerly accept an invitation to a light supper of cheese and wine – and rhubarb custard pie for desert. The evening is spent telling fun stories with lots of laughter. Good food for the soul at any age.
Spring seems different now…now that I’m in the fall of my life. Or am I in the winter of my life? That seems so bleak. I don’t think I’ve heard any lyrics about being in the winter of our lives – must be song writers know it would be a tough sell.
I remember other springs – when my body wakened with new energy. There was excitement in hanging freshly washed diapers on that early spring clothes line. I knew my babies would be healthier when pinned into outdoors dried diapers.They smelled so clean and fresh. Spring was a time when I eagerly washed the windows and put in screens. I can remember clearly the joy of the fresh spring scent carried through the window on a cool breeze, pushing out the staleness of a long winter.
But spring is different now that I am knowing it through an aged body. I feel gentleness when looking into the woods as undergrowth starts to sprout new green leaves.
Not having a lot of energy seems to be my normal now – although I sometimes slip into pretending that I have that ability to work hard and long. Spring has reminded me that life has changed; is gently teaching me a new excitement – of the spirit instead of the body. I still get excited when I smell spring and see those first signs but I’m learning how to enjoy it more slowly, with contemplation instead of work.
I probably always enjoyed the beauty of a northern spring, but now I seem to know the beauty and that brings me a different kind of joy. It is now like going down a road I’ve been down before and smiling because of the familiar. The earth has become an old friend that I cherish and look forward to seeing again and again. I take pleasure in the familiar, like seeing Trillium growing in the woods.
Or an especially dense bed of dandelions.
Now that is an overload of spring!
My ancestors came from the woods; I’m sure of this. Could it be what Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious,” where my body and mind and soul was born ‘knowing’ the experiences of billions of people who lived in the woods of the Northern Hemisphere before me?
I grew up with trees and my favorite memories involve trees – making outlines of houses with oak leaves we raked at Grandma’s cottage on Portage Lake, swinging for hours in the swing under the sprawling oak tree at her home in the city, watching our children collect and chop fallen birch branches for a campfire in the state forest near Harrison Michigan.
I am most drawn to deciduous trees. I have been with a lover in the cool shade of a large, dense green canopy, then marveled when these same leaves loose their green to brilliant colors of red, yellow and orange. I have a lifetime of smiles from showers of falling leaves, while rustling through layers of leaves on my path. I have admired the strong, unique skeletal outlines of winter trees, standing firm against raging winds or gently catching falling snow.
My most exciting moments have been in Spring, when the trees that appear dead burst forth in brilliant shades of golden green and blossoms of white and pink.
This is my interpretation of Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Trees. I couldn’t resist.