Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pretty spring, painful spring

Spring has always been my favorite time of year. I love the things that bloom; I adore it when grass starts growing again, and I hold my breath for weeks waiting for that day -- that one day -- when the trees' leaves suddenly unfurl themselves. Around here, that always happens in a single day. One day the trees are covered with buds, and the next, new, kelly-green leaves are soaking up the sun.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a wrong guy just because I was paying more attention to spring than to what I was doing. He wasn't bad. He was just wrong.

At the same time, Mama and Amy and I moved into Mama's last house.

Spring time will always be connected with old houses and new paint for me because of that year. When you're in love for the first time, everything seems to be in sharper focus. I can remember lying on the canvas-covered floor in the living room while Mama painted the shelves that the contractor built for her. I was memorizing lines for a play and daydreaming about my new love, and Mama was putting the finishing touches on a gorgeous old house.

When my first love broke my heart, I cried my eyes out in a strange, beautiful new bedroom. That house is intrinsically connected to pain and love.

Ten years later, Mama died in that house on April 16th.

Pain. Love. And spring time.

Now I have to say goodbye to Mama's house just as spring comes back to it. The crocuses that grow in the side yard under the littlest maple tree are blooming. Every spring since 1983 I've watched them come up and bloom, and every year I've said to myself, "The lily-of-the-valley are next."

But this year, when the lily-of-the-valley start blooming, I won't have the right to walk around to their hidden bed and breathe in their scent. I didn't take any pictures of them when I did have the right to do so.

Pain. Regret. And spring will keep coming -- to my house, to Mama's house even though she isn't there any more, and everywhere else, I guess.


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