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Women in White Dresses

Apparently, I’m not finished writing about the mustard fields in audacious “Super Spring” we are having. Yesterday, Justine asked if I’d take her up for a hike. She must have heard me talking about the yellow hills every single day this month. I know its a special spring because of the rare rains we’ve had. I also know that I might not see it like this again in my lifetime. I tell that to Justine: “Pay attention! Remember this.” But she might not—because apparently most people remember very little before they are seven years old. Can you remember being specifically six? I’m sure most people have a couple memories, but it takes something pretty unusual to ensure the memory sticks. On that note, do you remember how much energy you had? Here’s a reminder:

 

I’ve loved this spring so much with all its green and yellow. It’s changed the landscape…which is exactly what I needed after feeling like a stranger in a stranger land after Vernon’s ordeal/death. One thing I keep returning to in my mind these recent months is that nothing stays the same. People lose their lives over trying to keep things the same, and it doesn’t work. Something I miss about other places I’ve lived is the concept of dramatic seasons, in which nature changes in front of your very eyes. The changes are much more subtle in Southern California: you mostly have to be sensitive to the light in order to really notice. But this year we got it. Cycles of new life and the clarity of decay. Sometimes seem brightest just before they die, as we found was the case with Vernon. I am seeing the brown sneak into the landscape already. The hills are still beautiful, if not more so because their glory bloom is fading. I value the life/death I see in the hills. The tax of enjoying such beauty is knowing it won’t last. What was a bright blaze of glory these months of spring, helping me pretend I lived somewhere new and exotic, is fading again—but gloriously so. What once was bright and smooth and vibrant like a gorgeous swath of velvet is now looking worn-down, patchy but well-loved. Velveteen Rabbit hills.

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Maybe I’m hypersensitive right now, but its hard for me not to see the world full of death and decay anymore. I think about it more. I recognize it in everything. That said, I think about life a lot too. I see how children grow and change so quickly. I understand that I may or may not be around for them for a long time. I think the kids understand that too, though they don’t like to think about it. Life is full of life, but for some of us, we see the death of life more clearly.And because of that, the life is so much more precious. So much more of a privilege than we understood before. So bring on the change, I just want to admire it while it’s happening…and not be so afraid of what’s coming. We are meant to go through seasons. These are gifts we get to unwrap again and again…as long as they are there. As long as we are here.

The best part is, when the glow of one season turns to the brown dearth of boredom in another…we know that even that won’t last. There are always signs of new life for those who notice them. These things are intermingled. One springs from the other.

Nothing Gold Can Stay—by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

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The Conversation
Women in White Dresses