This is the beginning of a very important time of year for me. Spring has officially arrived, and the signs are everywhere. As you’ll see in the picture for today’s post, this is the view I have from my patio at my apartment. My apartment is not fabulous. But the one thing it has is this amazing woods.
In the winter, I can see all the way down to the bottom of the ravine. Everything is clear and I can see the snow and the deer walking around. I can see way out to the highway, and can tell if the traffic is too jammed in the morning to go that way, and instead take the surface streets. And then when winter is just about over and the earth has turned to face the sun the right way, I get to see this, this vision, this sunset every night that our crazy lake allows us to see one instead of clouds. I stand in awe at my window and watch the sun go down through the bare trees, knowing how limited and special this time is.
Because in a few weeks, you see, I won’t see anything. I actually get less sun here in the spring and summer than I do in the winter. The trees explode and then there is a curtain of green and smells and wonder. The deer and geese and squirrels and birds who seem to have been so, so busy the last few weeks will find their own work to do in nesting and mating and the things they do, and the woods will grow rich and full and lush.
I come into my own at this time as well. I inhale the green, I go elsewhere for the sun, but I want to be OUTSIDE as much as I can. The time for hunkering down and making soups and stews and chili and mac and cheese is damned near over. It’s time for maxi dresses and wedge heels and hitting the gym, which I have been doing like CRAZY the last few weeks and hope to see some results soon. But even if I don’t see them, I feel them. I love how my muscles shake when I get back to my desk after a lunchtime workout. I love the exhaustion and exhilaration I feel after a run, and am already searching for races to sign up for. This year, looking for 1-mile/1-K races to run with my son, my own racing “goals” blending with his this year. I don’t need to achieve anything. If the opportunity comes and I can make it happen, so much the better. But I will run for pleasure, and not around a calendar. And work to make this body strong-strong-strong so I can run better.
I won’t live as a monk. I’m not living on protein and bean sprouts just because it’s spring and soon I’ll wear a bathing suit. I love life and all its richness, and the people I am seeing when I am out – new friends and old – are filling up the blank spaces on my checkerboard and making me feel like I’m really doing it. Really living. As fully as I can. It isn’t about the scale or pizza or wine or protein shakes. It’s about that it’s time to ramp up enjoyment of life, sucking out the marrow of life and seeing people who matter, since you never know when you’ll have time again.
I’m taking off next Monday since my kid’s school is closed. We’ll go have some kind of adventure. I’m thinking of going to Arizona when my vacation renews in August – there are two people who need me out there, you know who you are, dear readers, and I’ll figure out a way to get there with their help. I haven’t climbed Camelback Mountain in more than a decade. Perhaps time to get back on that.
I’m writing too, and watching movies, and cooking. I’m living. I called my son tonight and he knew how to change the call to FaceTime and I was embarrassed because I look like shit, my hair pulled back and in need of a shower and then I thought, he doesn’t care, because you’re mommy, and that’s all he’ll remember.
It’s going to be a busy week. Make the most of it, friends.