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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Springtime of My Life

As I look outside my window, a thin veil of clouds casts a gray light on everything around. There could be rain; then again, it's spring and the weather can make a complete turnaround before you can find the umbrella in the coat closet.

Soon the unpredictability of May will slide into June with her warm, sunny days and humid nights. Then it will officially be summer by all standards: kids are out of school, pools are opening, the days seem to go on endlessly. Things are beginning to change.

If you consider a life like the four seasons, my own life is just coinciding with this time in spring. It's the waning edge of the springtime of my life, a last-ditch effort to capture the youthful invincibility we are all granted for a little while. It's a time where those flights of fancy can still turn into your dream come true. It's a place where things are starting to line up, but you are afforded one or two more chances to have a major screw-up, if you choose to take it.

What will these last few years of spring bring for me? I can't answer that; to know what's to come is to trick yourself into thinking you are bigger than the universe. Maybe the universe doesn't even know what's to come. Maybe it all comes down to chance. I can at least hope for the chance to have my rites of spring like endless others have before me and will after me. I don't want to sound envious of those others that have passed through, but it's getting late in my spring and I have yet to make my life my own. When will it be my turn?

If I don't succeed in capturing the essence of spring, I will still be forced into summer like a giant tornado sweeping across the farm fields, all planted in neat little rows. This disruption is clearly visible and takes time to heal. What will I have to look forward in that summer? Maybe a lot--maybe nothing. For most, summer is the time where their world is solidified: plans are set in stone, goals are beginning to be met, children are being raised in the image of their elders. It is a time where joy is palpable in the air. It's a time where we've given up the idea that we will live forever, but today was still a pretty good day. It's a time where we are preparing for the fall: one last trim of the lawn, one more gathering of friends and family, one more hug from the daughters and sons that will be heading out to find their own spring soon enough.

What is summer to someone who has never experienced spring? Is it just more of the same? A life where nothing seems to matter, yet pulling yourself through each day is so routine that you don't even have to think anymore? Would I even be able to find that glimmer of joy everyone else seems to have captured like fireflies in a jar? Or will I just step back inside, retreat from the intensity of the sun for fear I'll wilt and wither away? I guess I'll be the lucky one to find out.

It's getting late, and I must make my decisions count. Summer is just around the corner.

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