Monday, May 05, 2008

Weather or not

Moving to California I knew I would miss autumn, and I did. Moving to Ohio I had hoped I could get a touch of that season.  Luckily fall here is rather pretty, still nothing compares to New England for the array of colour, the sheer mass of trees lighting up the hills and mountains.  However I deeply enjoyed the arboreal display, the particular shade of blue that only seems to appear in October and November in places where the air crisps while the leaves crackle under your feet.

But oh the spring! While it was a delight and a wonder to have things bloom just about all year long in the Bay Area, it has been such a sweet pleasure to have the emergence of green, the slow developing budding of flowers, trees, and bushes after a good winter.

The straggly bush outside turns out to be a lilac which has burst forward with lovely blooms. In Massachusetts I had a small stand of them between my house and my lovely neighbor, Beth, who was terribly allergic to the scent. Every spring I inhaled deeply and she held her breath if she had to walk by them. Having one in front of the house here is like a little treasure.

Some time I believe in March I saw my first cardinal since I had left the east coast. I had forgotten how pretty they are, how they help mark the change of weather. A few weeks ago I was pining for the red-wing blackbirds that darted in the rushes along the Bay but soon was thrilled to see robins again. I still miss the blackbirds and the masses of grackles but there is something soothingly familiar about the plethora of robins that dot the greenway near my home.

Last week I found half of a broken robin's egg, in that lovely light blue that is tinged just a bit with green and speckled most delicately. Immediately I remembered being about 8 when the family had traveled to Virginia to visit some friends. It was one of the first times I had felt like I was "in the country", since I was raised in NYC. Walking in the yard around their farmhouse I found a robin's egg, a whole one, that had either been stolen from the nest or one which the mama bird knew wouldn't make and had kicked out. Cradling the egg in my hands I brought it inside to show everyone. I carefully placed it somewhere safe so I could bring it home with me, back to my concrete homeland. I no longer remember how long I kept the egg but it was prized item in my room, one that connected me with another life; one where children had yards, where nature was right outside your window, where the seasons bombarded all your senses and you couldn't forget what month it was.

Last Thursday I took Wyatt for a long walk. There were no injuries this time, thanks for asking. My shoes were really bugging me and finally I just gave in and took them off. It was so delightful to walk barefoot on the concrete pathway and the soft grass of the greenway. Though it was often warm enough to do that in Berkeley it didn't happen often at all. I have walked barefoot in NYC, on the streets, in parks and I love doing that because the ability to feel through my soles is something that makes me feel just a bit more alive, just a bit more connected to place. It reminds me to pay more attention to my body, how my feet are placed against the various surfaces I encounter, the way feet are shock absorbers but always there is a wave of vibration that runs up your body- harder or softer- but always there as all your weight for a brief moment is resting on that tiny surface area of one's foot.

Saturday we had a little bit of lots of weather. In the morning it was gray and raining at a good rate. We left the house, I had thought it was merely sprinkling. I also thought I knew where I was going, I was wrong on both counts. With my pants melded to my legs, my coffee lid offering more rain water than coffee, we turned back to put on dry things. By the time we left again the day had changed - bright, sunny, and toasty warm. Returning home again TGF was quick to discard her socks and sneakers because she was positively baking. In the late afternoon it turned gray and
drizzly. By evening the wind was roaring through as it has been doing a lot - I love that - and the temperature seemed to drop a good degrees every hour or so until we had to go around shutting windows and doors. I have heard that people from other areas are baffled by east coasters and midwesterns' obsession with the weather. This weekend makes a good case for it being about being prepared and totally sane, not the least bit OCD, not even a little bit.


heather said...

i love the changing weather and metamorphosing plant life that comes with a *real* spring! i forgot how amazing it is. i'm adoring mine, over here, too. congrats on the dogsafe outing. =)

louisiana swamp rat said...

Both spring and fall in Atlanta are breathtaking - we are known for being a city with tons of trees, both hardwoods and dogwoods, so we get the best of both seasons - these two seasons keep me in this city, because summer and winter suck (imo).

And I'll admit it, I'm a weatherholic - and I've dreamt lately of going barefoot to various places - the boy's school, work - very strange that you bring this up...

Jennie said...

Oh my gosh! Now *that*'s weather.