The Fleeting Spring

I don’t remember when time accelerated. All I know is that everything took forever when I was young and now everything goes too fast and has since I was about sixty. I’ve got a shelf life as do most things. I’m not sure of my expiration date. What I absolutely know is that staying present in each exquisite moment, bad or good, is imperative. Today I’m paying the price for living so hard in yesterday’s present. I have a tendency to overdo. I always have. Once when I was in my 6th hour of gardening on a hot day, I began to experience the beginning of heat stroke. Luckily, Michael was outside too and saw my blazing red cheeks and my lack of sweat, an unheard of event. He shoved me into a chair and ran inside, grabbed a tall glass of iced orange juice and stood admonishing me in a worried tone as I drank, grumbling that I never knew when to stop. That was fair. After swimming with great vigor for over a week, doing dumb stuff like dragging cinder blocks around with one hand, digging piles of dirt and sleeping in very small increments, I woke this morning, stiff, sore and feeling my age rather than my wild oats. I had breakfast with my roving biologist son, who once again departs this weekend for exotic climes. Then I sensibly decided to have a slow day. I wandered through the garden, poking around under the litter I left last fall to see what might be stirring. Of course there are many spring flowers which have already come and gone. Every day there’s something new to observe. Some blooms linger only briefly while others will be here for months. I felt that peculiar sensation of the excitement for spring coupled with the melancholy that it’s moving fast. So I froze today in photographs. They are my spring ode. Daffodils and hyacinths. Peonies poking their red heads up through the wood chips and thin black cloth I use to combat weeds. Chives and thyme. All the butterfly bushes have new shoots. The roses are awakening. I have to check certain species planted last fall, too new for me to remember their names. I yanked a few weeds but mostly I took in the heady smell of dark midwestern soil and was happy to see all the returning friends that I fret about through the winter. Here is my cool, windy spring day, a gift worth sharing. Enjoy.

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