A Month of Transition


may-flowers-3

May has been termed the busiest month for social engagements, and you can understand why. Weddings, graduations, First Communions – so many events!

The focus of May is age-dependent, I suppose. My Facebook news feed has been filled with photos of graduates. My friends’ kids, all grown up and moving on.

So I thought back to my own college graduation day. Acknowledging our junior year abroad in Switzerland, my friend Peter and I hitchhiked downtown. We did! In black caps and gowns, we walked to Eaton Street and stuck our thumbs out. A car stopped. Three girls in school uniforms welcomed us into their vehicle and drove us downtown to the Providence Civic Center (long before it was the Dunkin’ Donuts Center). It only took about ten minutes, a much shorter ride than the ones we’d accepted to Besançon or Saint-Raphaël.

A week ago those same Facebook pages were filled with images of moms – moms my age, moms passed on, new moms cradling infants. This is social media, a way for some to express joy, accomplishment, grief. Sharing life’s highs and lows (more often the highs) with everyone they know (and many they don’t know).

But here we are, ushering in summer in New England after one of the longest and coldest winters I can remember. Some can’t wait, wearing shorts and flip-flops in 66-degree sunshine. Who can blame them, really? That green mist that rested lightly on the trees has morphed into thick leafiness. There’s yellow and pink and lavender so pretty it makes us forget (briefly) about what we had to endure to get to this day. New beginnings – for couples, new parents, and those graduates, who will either move back home or venture forth on their own. It’s a world of possibility, and that’s a very good thing.

Life is Hard. Life is Beautiful.


www.get-covers.com
http://www.get-covers.com

This past Friday, I attended the funeral service for a 58-year-old man who had lived with a brain tumor for ten years. And now I know yet another widow who will not have the chance to grow old with her best friend.

We may have more snow on Wednesday. As if this winter hasn’t beaten us down enough. March will not slip into spring, not without one last roar, apparently. Cities and towns have run out of salt, have depleted their snow budgets long ago. We’re going broke paying for heat. Our roads are falling apart. School may last until July at this point, with so many cancelled days. I’ve ingested too many carbs this winter, trying to find comfort in a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Depression is all around. Whether it’s because of aging, menopause, winter, unemployment, lost love, or the feeling that time is slipping through our fingers, it can be a struggle to get up each morning and just live. I get it. I see it in my friends, I listen to it. People I love are suffering.

Locarno - photo by M. Reynolds
Locarno – photo by M. Reynolds

The snow will melt. It will feed the rivers. Life will burst forth – not yet, but soon. New life means hope. Hope brings light to darkness. It covers cold with warmth. It vanquishes dread and despair. Hope is joy. Joy is laughter. Life is beautiful.

The Madness of March


How do you feel about the month of March? Is it all about Saint Patrick’s Day and green beer? Here in Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s Day (the 19th) is nearly as popular, mostly for the zeppoles.

stockphotos
stockphotos
stockphotos
stockphotos

My father-in-law, and now my husband, hate the month of March. Both believe that nothing good comes during the month. My husband’s father’s father died on March 18, 1968. His wife, my husband’s mother, died on the same day in 1993. My father-in-law’s birthday is March 6, but he doesn’t want to celebrate anymore, and presently we are awaiting the results of some medical tests that could hold good (whew) or difficult news. Since the results will be revealed in March, both men in my life are convinced the news will be bad.

I’ve never looked at March that way. March means spring in the northern hemisphere, and even though we may have a last burst of winter in March, snow that falls and sticks to the grass won’t last. The days are longer – Daylight Saving Time in the United States begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10 this year! Here are some of the other, positive aspects of the month of March:

  • It’s International Francophone Month and International Francophone Day on March 22 (égalité, complémentarité, solidarité)
  • March 2 is National Reading Day (I have a suggestion!)
  • March 14 is Save a Spider Day (I know, my initial reaction is to stomp, too, but if I find one that day, I’ll be kind)
  • The only day in the calendar that’s also a command (think about it)*
  • It’s March Madness, baby! The Big Dance for college basketball (men and women), the annual pool (money, no-money), single elimination, and Cinderella stories.
  • Passover begins on March 26th, a festival of liberation and unleavened bread.
  • Easter this year is March 31st – joy and hope and promise. And Dove dark chocolate eggs.

I hope March is a happy and healthy transition month for all of you. Spring is on the way!

*March Fourth 🙂

F is for Robert Frost


Today is Friday, Good Friday for some, and it’s “F” day in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

“F” offered up some great choices: William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and one of my absolute favorites, E.M. Forster.  But for today, I’ll present a work by one of America’s most beloved poets:

A Prayer in Spring
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.