Archived Story

A full blown love affair with life

Published 11:05am Friday, March 30, 2012

As wary that I am in regards to our complete lack of winter this past year, I am embracing the early explosion of spring this year with the appreciation of a neophyte.
The 450 daffodils that Paul brought back from a trip to Baltimore, planted only 6 weeks ago, have exploded with sunny faces, of all different varieties, drifting up the drive, encircling the rose beds and punctuating the conifers planted along the barn. Already, two pink azaleas have opened as have unfurled the buds of the dogwoods, presenting soft white flowers, like a child’s cupped hand
This is the time of year where my morning meditations move outdoors. To be true, there are certainly brittle winter mornings when the air is still and the sky, rose- pink and clear, lull me into pausing in the middle of barn chores to take a moment and gaze across frost-crusted fields while keeping a firm hand on the lead as I walk each horse to the gate, snorting streams of steam from distended nostrils, stamping a delicate foreleg, eager to explode into acres of freedom, plunging, bucking- all for the sheer thrill of being alive.
We humans have so much to learn from our animals. As children, yes, I think we did express ourselves physically when overcome with exuberance: bouncing on the back seat of the bus on the last day of school before summer vacation, the excited barefoot jig on the kitchen floor before mother pulls the sheet of cookies from the oven, the leaping down the stairs on Christmas morning. Then adolescence arrives with its heavy cloak, effectively suffocating any displays that could be considered eye-rollingly immature.
Funny, that. The shrieking freckled girls, just a year ago, pushing each other off the floating dock in the middle of the lake and collapsing into a heap of laughter are  suddenly terribly self conscious at 12 and 13 and loll about now, quietly texting and on the verge of sullenness. The boys, still unsure of the parameters of their age, remain engaged in horseplay, until one, taking the lead, disappears with an air of boredom and a cigarette absconded from his father’s jacket.
Before we know it we are married and become mothers and fathers and while we certainly have ample opportunities for nights out, filled with friends and laughter, life becomes quite a serious matter: we doggedly drive our morning commute, pay the mortgage and the dental bills, have the car tuned up and cut out coupons. When spring beckons we only tend to really take note when we leave, briefly, the two-dimensional world of screens before our faces to rise and turn on the air-conditioning before casting a glance out the office window and realizing how suddenly green the grass has become.

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