Houston's winter was much colder than I anticipated. I bought a wool coat in the big post-Christmas sales, and wore it. When I found a vintage, calf length heavy winter coat in the op shop, I bought that too, and felt the pinch as the cost to have it cleaned was more than the coat itself. I digress.
This week we've been hitting 80F/26C and once again, the kids ended up in the pool one sunny day. Finch's darling little friend informed me "It feels like spring, but it's not. Spring starts March 22nd." Even so, I've got flats of seedlings launching themselves towards sunlight under my windows, bulbs are breaking soil in the garden, birds are twittering to frenzied heights, and nests are being built all around the neighborhood.
Trees are unfurling green flags, and some days I feel that heady madness of changing seasons. I step outside with the dog in the middle of the night, and the air is warm and moist. In the early pre-dawn mornings, the scent of orange blossoms hangs in the air, and in the afternoon, the jasmine I have next to the front door welcomes all our guests.
Spring winds blow strong, and then the air sits full and heavy. The seasons are changing, even if the title of spring has not yet been bestowed.
I sometimes feel a sense of wild fright at the change. What will happen next? Will we make it?
This move has brought beauty and pleasure. At the same time, I do not know if I have ever had such an extended season of fear and stress. I had postpartum depression after birthing Sprout, but that was more a heavy languid blackness than piercing terror.
Since moving we have had thing after thing threaten my confidence in the security and safety of our family. Very little of it can be shared or discussed here. In fact, these are things hidden in my heart that I have scarcely whispered to my mother, in the hoarse tones of robbed sleep and eyes red from crying.
My close friends are far away, and the vessel of letter or phone call is too fragile to hold these fears in my heart. New friendships can't be burdened. My worries would be like rocks thrown on a lilly pad, sinking it quickly and sure.
In the early hours, I speak to God. I hold my handful of woes, I look for the promised light burden. I speak to my spirit, words of hope and future. I bring to mind previous times when darkness has cleared in a moment, pain has lifted, and light has been victorious.
They say that moving is one of the most stressful experiences one can have in life, and I remind myself that I am still working from a deficit. I am simultaneously trying to root myself, while looking forward. I am trying to settle into "normal" when there are still so many unknowns in these next months for us.
I am trying to connect to bud and blossom, fragrance on the wind, and the evidence of future hope and present joy in all the moments I have been blessed with.
These things that terrify me may blow away like pollen from the trees. In the end they may be nothing of substance. Nothing at all. I may have spent all these months cowering before shadows. I would like to learn to live bravely under threat, bravely in the face of real challenge, and joyful in all the seasons I face. This spring I would like to be strong.