Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life's rhythms

Here in New England, where we have such well defined seasons, life has a certain rhythm to it. 

In the wintertime you are hard pressed to see any of your neighbors. Everyone is hunkered down inside of their warm (relatively speaking) houses around the fire. Everything is slow. You would think this quiet time would be a good time for socializing, but really it's not what happens. People keep to themselves. If you want to be social, you've got to make it happen. For the most part, as a society everyone is tucked inside reading, watching t.v., playing video games, playing board games, and perhaps escaping to go out to dinner in between snow, sleet and slush.

When the weather breaks, just like honey bees breaking their 'cluster' to see if it's warm enough to venture outside, you start to see your neighbors. When springtime comes people start going on walks. Suddenly, everyone is working on their yard and the children are outside playing on their driveways. I always forget how busy spring is. As a gardener, as soon as the weather is warm enough I am outside non-stop, unless it's raining. I find myself 'going out into the real world' decked out in my messy gardening clothes, because what's the point of taking them off for 10 minutes just to go and pick up Ripley at preschool? To look at me, people must be worried that I'm losing my faculties, to go out looking so . . . grungy. In the wintertime I would be starved for companionship, for daytime conversation with adults. But in the spring, I am content to be by myself working in my garden all day long. It's wonderful. There is a hope in the air. 

In the summertime, it is a social frenzy. New Englanders (I won't speak for the rest of the world) race around to do all that we had hoped and dreamed to do during those long winter months before it starts snowing again! We zip to the beach. We zip to go camping. We race from Bar-B-Q to Bar-B-Q horrified that soon we will be back to cooking and eating indoors. We go out to eat and sit outside and soak in the warm sun. It's a very strange phenomenon. It's almost comical. Trying to schedule time with your friends during the summer months is like trying to get a place on the dance card of the most beautiful girl in the room. 

Invariably, as the weather starts to turn again, we try to pack any remaining activities into the warm days that come our way. Autumn is beautiful in New England, but it's a little bit like an old fashioned New Orleans funeral. The music is rich and vibrant, but there is a sadness in the air. A mourning. A quietness that begins to envelop us. 

So for now, I will embrace the hope of things to come, of seeds planted, of trees cared for, of plans to be made, of bees to be born and chicks to be raised. If you're wondering where I am, or where I've been, check my garden. You'll find me there digging in the dirt with JOY, and dreaming of the summer fun to come . . . 

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