Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring is Coming

I saw it this morning in the lean of the sky. That bold sun hid behind white ruffled clouds and shot razor-beams across the pale blue. The trees are whispering to each other, stretching their long-bowed fingers, bud-tipped, making ready to grasp the light of day.

Last night a young black bear loped across the road in front of my red Ford F-350 crew cab pickup (farewell tight-turning Expedition--I drive a monster, now.)

"A bear!" I exclaimed, scaring the living daylights out of my daughter, who tossed her i-pod and clutched at her heart,

" God, mom, are you trying to kill me?"

Of course not, I just wanted her to see the bear.

As if the green haze across the lawn weren't enough, as if that warm wind moving with easy speed through the undergrowth did not tell the tale, certainly that young bear, lean and dark from his winter sleep is clear evidence of the coming Spring.

I never got my great snowfall, but did have one peaceful evening when the world turned white. I cannot say I enjoyed my winter. Though our Christmas was truly lovely, the tree, the asthma, and now the allergies were not.

It makes me wonder, though, what will my Spring be like? This year I know what the blowing pollen will do. All those years and all that illness, I never knew.

I am allergic.

Does it really matter what to? To the natural world, to trees and grass, to weeds, to microscopic mold spores that dwell on underbellies, that thrive in the dampness of my southern climate, to dust, to all sorts of things.

My body is a riot of objection, it thinks near everything is an invader, it marshalls the troops, hauls out the guns, vows to win the war! My nose twitches, my eyes water, my skin gets creepy crawly, my knees swell, my stomach aches.

As the fighting continues, I grow more and more weary until getting out of bed to make coffee seems more effort than I can manage. All because of allergies. At least I have a name for my foe, for that low-lying demon who has haunted me all my life. At least I live in a time and place where we have such things as antihistamines and albuterol. Fexofenadine, my faithful new friend.

I am always pensive in February, peering out from the shadows of the cold, dark nights and the heaviness of the flu season. As the sun stretches itself across the sky, holding on to two more minutes each day and the inevitable Spring crawls close, I wonder, I really do; What will this Spring be like?

Monday, February 2, 2009

It is SNOWING!!!!

Today, in balmy VA, I drove with my windows rolled down. 57 degrees, the sun was shining and all the world was whispering Spring. Late in the day, with dark clouds, wind, and thunder a brimming cold front made the temperature plummet.

Still, who has time to think of snow?

We had a lot of homework to be done, stories to read, dinner to be made. Each task completed, I thought, "Thank Goodness, one step closer to the warmth of my bed." As the night worn on, my toes grew cold without their brightly colored socks. The kids drifted off, one by one. The house grew still and quiet. Downstairs I padded, turning off lights.

And then I saw it, a thin blanket of white on my yard. Snow. I peeked out the door, it was still falling, a soft tinkling whisper in the night. On my outstretched palm it fell like feathers of ice. One child was still wandering our halls,

"Look, it's snowing" I whispered.

"Oh, snap!" She said.

We both know it could be gone by morning, with our Lady Virginia's fickle weather patterns. But, right now, tonight, my world has turned white, and I will sleep like the land under that soft, feather blanket, my mind resting in the quiet joyful knowledge: It is snowing.

Photograph by Sraddha Van Dyke. For one time use for "theviewoverhere" , all rights retained by Sraddha Van Dyke.