The spring sky beckons to the heart starved by a winter that overstayed its welcome. “You don’t need to escape the cold any more. Come on, linger a little longer…”
Tonight, after work, I went shopping. I want some new clothes. THAT is another sign of spring, feeling as if I can't live another minute with the current wardrobe. Yes, spring is coming, I'm sure of it now.
I didn't buy anything. Nada. But I dawdled on the way home, thinking, again, that I can feel spring in the air. While dawdling, I took some pictures.
I think the most demoralizing thing about winter is, for me, the lack of colour. In April, we finally saw a few bulb flowers emerge – but things were so dull, rainy and cold, even tulips and crocus seemed reluctant to flourish. Flower boxes are being filled up outside of storefronts and that's great, but it's not until nature lets her hair down and goes crazy that the colours really make themselves known in the psyche.
All that rain did encourage more green, as it always does. And now – after several warm, sunshiny days, trees are budding, leaves are popping, and yellow has arrived in the form of forsythia and dandelions.
May is really good at making weather in my part of the world – the humidity hasn't arrived, the sky is clear and blue, flowers are fresh and perky and green is all rich and cool, tempting you to jump in and bathe in it.
Welcome back colour, I've missed you. Today you're beautiful thing number thirty-eight.
I haven’t been writing much. If you’re one of my regular friends I’m sure you’ve noticed. Lists of beautiful things and posts of YouTube clips are not writing. I’ve learned to accept the dry periods and assume the “writerly collector” in me is needing this time to just collect experience. But it’s been bothering me – posting other people’s work and videos of other people are not going to bring you back, and I can’t stand the thought of losing any one of you.
Part of it is that I’ve been immersing myself in good books over my daily commute – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact my excuse for staying with this job which is an hour’s trip from my home has always been that those two hours of travel time every day are reading time. But the problem with immersing myself in books during this time is that I’m not paying attention to my favourite subject: that little space of world around me and the people in it.
By the end of winter I start feeling trapped by it – the darkness, the extended periods of painful temperatures, the ugliness. Let’s face it – snow in the city is only beautiful when it first falls. Then it becomes dirty mounds on sidewalks and on edges of parking lots and lining curbs everywhere. I’m all about the changing seasons, I feel lucky that I live in such a climate – but by late January, I’m finished with this damned season.
I’m sure it’s all related to a lack of sunlight. In fact I know it – after an hour’s lunchtime walk in bright sunlight today I felt heady, almost drunk. And the move to Daylight Time this past weekend has flipped some internal switch – I get to evening and find daylight and I’m noticeably happy. Lots of my friends are still complaining about that lost hour of sleep – I’m practically giddy for it; I’d gladly sacrifice two hours to have Daylight Time back again.
I wish I was one to write myself through a down or difficult period. The last few months of hunkering against the weather, coming out of the subway after work into the dark, the sequestering away from humanity and losing myself in other peoples’ stories – have all caused me to close off, and thus close off that well of stories.
During today's lunchtime walk I stopped and looked ahead at a length of sidewalk on which there was no snow, no ice, no slush, no puddles; just a clear sidewalk under a sunny sky. And when I stood there looking at it, I felt a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in more than a month, a welcome desire to get back outside of myself.
As I walked on, one of my favourite song verses ran through my head:
You say you'll give me a highway with no-one on it
Treasure, just to look upon it
All the riches in the night
U2, from Rattle and Hum, 1988
Let’s call that little simple little verse, with its image so humble and idea so rich, beautiful thing 25, and my theme for escaping the bonds of winter.
So I made peace with his landlordship. No, we didn’t discuss the Matter of the Windows or his Jacking Up the Furnace Policy. Let’s just say we both know it’s an issue that would remain unresolved for as long as I chose to live there. He did say he’s thinking of building a deck for the upper apartment, so perhaps that’s his acknowledgement of most peoples’ need for fresh air and an enjoyment of summer. He probably thinks that the next tenant’s utilisation of a deck space will eliminate any need to open windows – but that’s a discussion I’m not going to need to have ever again.
At any rate, the exchange was friendly and generous on both sides, and I’m glad to be leaving him on good terms. He expressed sadness that I’m going, and I understand that. It’s not about the money for him; it’s about the comfort of having another body moving about in the big house. And it’s hard to find a good tenant, particularly when one is inclined to make much ado over small things. I’m glad to be leaving his control issues and mind games. I’m sad to be leaving behind the friendly, slightly cheeky man who gave me some prints of his bird paintings, which I’ll hang in my new home in honour of his good qualities, and because they’re lovely.
I get possession of my new digs tomorrow and the official move is Monday. I hope to use the weekend to get the cupboard and closet stuff in place, and thus ease SOME of the unpacking pain.
But then I never find moving painful. Well, leaving Windsor and the place I lived my entire life was painful. More bittersweet: moving closer to my family, but leaving my friends; becoming a homeless empty nester, but embarking on a month-long adventure to find love across the ocean in a country I’d never been to before. I couldn’t have known then that it would take years to overcome that shock to my system, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’ve always loved change – I crave it sometimes. I suspect that now I’m that empty-nester I’m a little too free to run after change any time the whim takes me. I won’t even begin to discuss my thoughts on where this has left me in the love and relationship department. Maybe I should be like my favourite bloggers – refreshingly honest and personally forthright – and lay that out on the table. Maybe in doing that I could affect some internal change in an area that could really stand some improvement.
But not today. I’m too jazzed about the move. It’ll be the fourth neighbourhood I’ve tried in Toronto since 2006. It’ll be different than any type of home or neighbourhood I’ve ever lived. Because in making this decision, I thought that it was time to let go of some ideas about re-creating that kind of neighbourhood and HOME that I had when my girls were growing up. After all, everything’s different now. I AM alone and I CAN follow these yearnings and go where the wind takes me. I truly believe in following the rhythms of the universe, and I’m looking forward to discovering where the path takes me.
As of Monday, everything will be new again. With wide open windows.
Change is the only constant. *~Heraclitus