Thursday, March 3, 2011
The scent of the rosemary bush planted by the side of the stairs greets me with a taste of spring, and reminds me of roasted meat on Sunday evenings, when mom would stop by and buzz over the abundance of dust bunnies, the mess made by my real bunny and the general disarray that is the state of affairs of my life. The house would smell of fresh laundry, warm spices and the comfort of someone who cares. I try not to mull over the guilt that comes with it, the voice that says I should be doing this for her. Instead I relish in the joy of her being able to visit, the satisfaction it brings her, and the health we all still posses to either survive or duke out our differences when the mood fits, about once a year that is.
I tuck these thoughts away while negotiating the stairs with some hesitation, lingering in the quiet affections that is the familiar colors and structures of my condo complex.
Earlier this morning, I had stepped out of my sick bed for the first time to walk the boy to school, a potentially treacherous journey in my condition. So I prepared, downing my warmest chocolate leather jacket, fluffiest scarf, and a pair of high cuffed black ugg boots. After all, there had been snow in the county just days ago, the first of perhaps thirty somewhat years. The fact that it was a brief dusting in the foothills of mountains two hours from here, while I live on the other edge of the county by the ocean, doesn't diminish the threat of that vicious cold front still lingering to bring out the convulsions of coughs, lingering in me.
But the springs in my steps surprised me, though it shouldn't have. The tiny neighborhood enclave whispers signs of seasonal transitions. The young dove, cooing even when she flew, joined the sonata of chirps high and low from other species I cannot identify but by their tunes. Palm and Pine leaves are always in some shades of green here, but the easy rustling they gave today differ from those of the winter days, when more violent winds of either hot or cold blew by regularly. Several of my neighbors have gotten started on spring planting on their patios, evidence includes spots of dark soil spilling out the side of the planters, tiny pools and big splashes of water everywhere, and garden tools scattered about. Though perhaps most of all, spring, is in those sprouts of greens I couldn't name pushing through the dark earth, waving at us in vibrant but harmonious colors worn by those too small patches of leaves curling about this way and that.
I told the boy about my plan for lunch break today.
"I will volunteer at cougars in motion this morning." I declared, leaving a pregnant pause to make the unspoken suggestion -- he should plan on participating. The enthusiasm for the program, a lunch time exercise-run the school organizes, with charms of plastic feet for each 8 loops completed, had cooled after 3 weeks and then vanished completely by the new year, in time with the onset of winter chills and the passing around of the flu viruses.
"Oh, but I've been playing tumble jumps lately, I don't want to miss it!" he exclaims.
"what is that?"
"You line up, and you jump shoot the basket..."
He launched into a complete description of the latest game craze at the school. It sounded like fun, and popular. So I told him that. Though I secretly hoped he was doing it for the first reason and not the latter.
I said nothing more. I wished he wanted to complete what he so eagerly started, and not leave so many "projects" dangling in the wasteland of abandoned passions. But I don't, because hearing that from your mother can be a hard thing, making you feel a bit bluer and turn the day just a shade darker, and making you want to turn a deaf ear to the other, even important or loving things she might say to you. So I made a choice, to let go of this choice, like the thousand other ones I made the day before.
The walk to school had been so warm and invigorating, I decided to push my luck further and walk out of the neighborhood to the coffee shop a few blocks away.
So I finally cross the dividing line of what was mine, narrow, familiar and warm, into the expanse of the streets outside. The sounds of the morning rush hour greets me, in the roars of that semi that could, rushing to deliver some goods to someone somewhere, in the squeals of that little red sports car weaving to pass other morning commuters, in the happy chatters of the retirees gathering at the library waiting for the start of a lecture, and in the quiet whispers of that lady waiting in the street corner, handing out charity pamphlets to people rushing by her, barely paying attention or intentionally ignoring those little pink leaflets of cry for help. A cry of help in its own world and in its own right, the rashness and the rushing, that is.
The breeze is so warm, that I had long shed my heavy coat and scarf, I want to throw away my boots and run on the grass next to the narrow walk way. I draw in the symphony of sights, sounds and choices, eyes closed, ears open, heart in murmur, praying for a world of patience.
The patience to stop, and listen.