I walked out my back door just now into that That Time of Year….
It didn't come quietly. It came with grand proclamation.
Perched at tree's top, she was loud and insistent, so much so she stopped me still no sooner than I had found my pace. So I listened. No, not just listened…I heard. "Praise his glorious name forever!" she declared. "The whole earth is filled with his glory," amen and amen, punctuation to her Psalter song.
I reached for my phone to capture her a little while longer. The battery died right after. At first I'm angry–That Time of Year demands pictures!– but I'll soon learn how great a blessing, this seeing with wide eyes rather than behind a tiny lens.
This is that time of year when lions are dandy and herds are born in fields of clover. Young manes are lemon and sunshine and a traffic light's caution. Elders' are cotton-topped, a crumple of fairy wings, wispy clouds on a stem. Cotton candy cake pops? They're a nuisance and play toy all at once. One of a squillion nature-miracles we take for granted, and by those of an ornery disposition, disdain.
I round the corner and slam into a hint of summer to come–had I been paying closer attention, the hum of a distant motor would have been sufficient warning. It's barely and j u s t warm enough for the scent of fresh-cut grass to conjure all manner of childhood memory, yes, and that mixture of oil and gasoline. I breathe in deep, fill my lungs, beg for more, holding tight to what was and what is and what will be. Powerful scent of green and youth and promise.
A little further along the way, I'm dazzled. This is a curious thing–the colors of spring aren't my favorite and yet I love them. Jasmine's gold, Red Bud's magenta, Wisteria's lavender. Everything is dusted in pollen, an unfortunate price to pay for spring's spectacular show.
I'm wrecked with love for the South. I've lived in three of her states now and they're the same and completely different and you have to spend some time in each to see and hear the subtleties. I'm so glad I've seen and heard. Fifty shades of Hey! usually followed by a y'all.
The grassy smell turns sickly sweet the closer I get to that tangled mass of Wisteria. Their clusters of flowers hang like grapes on a vine and I'm wild about them because they refuse to be bound, tamed, controlled. They're strong, resilient and faithful to return, the best kind of friend. Bees grow fat on their drink and I inch closer. I'm trusting these aren't the stinging kind, that they're more interested in their work than a voyeur of their trade. I wonder what their honey tastes like.
I walked out my back door just now into that That Time of Year and some people would call it a walk around the block.
I am not some people…a prayer of thanksgiving for who I am.