Sunday Morning ~ Spring in Maine
Ukakwatira mphezi, usaope kung’anima. ~ If you get married to the thunderbolt, you should not be afraid of the lightning.
~ Chewa proverb
April 28, 2019
I’m back in Maine for the remainder of what the calendar says is spring. Snowbanks remain on the road and their dirty little caps looked sad. Or maybe it’s my mood. It’s almost May and my pond is still frozen. I feel embarrassed about my Hawaii tan. In a spring many years ago we had a day at the Women’s Health Center filled with patients who’d been to some warm place for the end of winter. At the end of the day Ann said, “If one more person comes in this office with a frigging tan I’m going to scream.” Ann could always make something funny. I miss those days.
The most spring-like event this week was a strange thunder storm during the night on Friday. After raining all day it seemed a dramatic flair, as if the gods were rubbing our noses in it. I just got back from two weeks in Hawaii and I certainly have no right to complain about lack of sun and I won’t whine about the time change either. I enjoy a good thunder storm and lay awake wondering why we say “thunder and lightning” instead of “lightning and thunder”? After all, it’s the lightning that comes first. Is it just more lyrical? I finally fell asleep around 6 a.m. and dreamt I had a huge lump in my breast and was waiting at a medical office to have it evaluated. I thought I could take care of it myself so squeezed my breast and this huge mass came out, covered in green leaves resembling an artichoke. I’m always intrigued by what dreams reveal about our mind and the work we do while we sleep. I calculated the time since my last mammogram, and not worried about breast cancer, thought maybe it’s time for a cleanse.
I’ve often described spring in new England as the season that lies to you. I never understood why so many people say they love spring. I love the idea of spring and the occasional spring-like day we get here, but most of the time it’s cold and dreary, muddy and slippery, or (the real deception) sunny but cold and windy. Those days are the worst. You look out the window and think, “Oh, wow! A gorgeous day!” And then open the door in your lightweight jacket to be hit with a 2×4 of cold air. I feel deceived. I admit, I am sensitive to being deceived. It’s happened plenty of times in my gullible life and spring is only an annual reminder. I want to believe what I see or hear is actual reality, then I am disappointed when I realize it isn’t true. That’s spring to me, unkept promises. This makes me think of promises I didn’t keep and wonder what effects were rendered. I’m sure my kids have a list. I try to be conscious of following through, though I know sometimes I didn’t. Yikes! This is dark!
I went to the climate change march yesterday and there was plenty of talk about the weather. It was cold and rainy, apparently the 15th day out of 17 like that. Oh, wait, I think four of those were snow days. Anyway, the seasons are shifting and waters are warming and storms are intensifying. There was talk of hope being a passive stance. Action is what’s needed. The talks were inspiring, and motivated me to consider actions I can take. I recycle, I rarely buy packaged foods or use straws. I turn the lights out. I could ride my bike more, but the roads here are hard without shoulders and many potholes. That’s an excuse, I know. It’s cold and I don’t like riding my bike in the cold. I’m a wimp that way. Solar panels. I could look into those again. I don’t need this big house, but if I left it, it would still exist. So that’s not changing anything.
Those of us who choose to live here year round have some choices. If we have the means we can go away during the bleakest times, for some that is winter, for me it is spring. We could move away and leave this inconsistent lover. We could go where the sun shines every day and birds are always singing. (I haven’t heard one bird or peeper yet). But then I’d feel like a weakling. A quitter. What would you even do with your time if you didn’t have to fix rotting roofs or moldy ceilings? And complaining about the weather? That’s an ancient tradition and one we hold dear. Spring knows we’d never leave. Because when summer does come, and we thumb our noses at the season we were abused by, we wonder how we could have ever complained? What was the problem anyway? What’s a little mud? It’s just so beautiful and the hard times make it all the more so. That’s spring in Maine. If we are going to marry the thunder we have to appreciate the lightning.
Love to all,