Saturday, April 28, 2012

When I raked the springtime across your sheets...

Something about this time of year. Seven-thirty, mild late-April evening, nowhere near cool enough for a jacket. Still light enough for me to see well-enough to write this on paper in my car, but the steel grey clouds promise rain tonight. No, not just yet, I can't smell the rain, but it's there.

At the house we owned just outside of the large Midwestern city, there was a lilac tree just like this one. It always smelled so good. When people talk about loving spring, it's usually because it's the end of winter, there's sunshine again, and everything is growing. May flowers and all of that. But I can't remember this tree without seeing it against a stormy sky, can't remember the smell of the flowers without also smelling a coming storm. It's not just the growth. It's the chaos and destruction that brings the growth. As a Midwestern girl, spring means thunderstorms and tornadoes. Autumn is lovely, with crisp fall days, the sound of rustling leaves, and the fear in October storms. But it is is all death, leading to a long cold winter. The fear in spring comes with the promise of life. It's probably no coincidence that this is usually when my depression eases up.

Last night, I sat out on the step in front of our house until the rain started. It felt like the wind was blowing in a huge storm, looked like the new green leaves were about to be pulled from the trees. But I felt peaceful, like I was the eye of whatever storm might roll through.

Spring has also always meant open windows for my family. The humid heat of our summers demands air conditioning and then of course there the heater in the winter, always gas, sometimes a roaring fire as well. But spring and fall call for open windows. The bedroom windows in our house outside the large Midwestern city were placed higher up in the wall, long but no more than 2 feet tall, if that. The roof hung over enough that, most of the time, you didn't have to worry about rain getting in the windows, so we left them open through all kinds of rainstorms and thunderstorms. No matter how bad the lightning and thunder were, it lulled me to sleep like few other things can. Still does. But, for a suburban girl who doesn't much like camping and the like, liking with the windows open in my house, with them rolled down in my car, feeling the breeze, makes me feel closer to whatever is out there. It can be soothing. But it can be scary too. Opening up to the things you like also opens you up to things you might not like.

I don't know how to end this, so I'll end it with a song, the one the title is drawn from, which seems quite appropriate for this post.

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