Yellow and lavender pansies

Spring Forward

It’s the time of year when the world is warming and brightening in fits and starts. Grey skies follow sun warmed blooming flowers, both trailed by frost – it makes the senses spin and the wardrobe catapult back and forth from sweaters to shorts. This is a bitter sweet time of year for me as winter gives way to spring, with a promise of the summer so full of reminders of the things I don’t want to remember.

Sunset in late winter.

I love the edge seasons, the in-between, the becoming. Fall and Spring are my home in the quarters of the year. Perhaps because change fits me like the old sweater I wore just last week, or because like the capris of a couple days ago, they are the harbinger of things to come. Spring and Fall keep me on my toes wondering what is next. Perhaps it’s because they are neither too hot or too cold – extremes I no longer seem to enjoy much. Deep inside, I know long, hot summer days connect to things just below awareness, bringing floating fragments to the surface, a tingly crawling to my arms, and a shake to my hands. So I’ll linger in spring as long as I can in the momentary embrace of a safe season. Sometimes I’d rather not spring forward.

A wall of purple life in the brown of winter.

Last week the three giant Japanese Magnolia trees at the park next to our house were beginning their yearly display. Driving home I saw them blossoming forth through the misty overcast evening. Disappointed at the poor light of the late hour, and determined to capture some decent photos this year, I made a mental note to head out the next day with my camera when the sun was right and the weather favorable.

It actually took for days for everything to align, but I found myself stomping up and down the little hillside with camera in hand trying to do justice to the sea of buds just set to open. While I searched, a neighbor I’d not yet met saw me and wandered over to introduce himself. It turns out he organizes a local photography meetup group. His card in my pocket, I went back to what I was focused on, intent on capturing an image which would convey the feeling of facing a flood of color. I found myself working hard to stay in this moment for as long as possible even after I was sure I had what I’d originally come for.

Japanese Magnolia tree covered in buds

Then I walked with the camera for a bit to find another moment, but as the evening wore on, I wasn’t seeing much to capture eye and heart, so I headed home. My thoughts were wandering too far from the serenity of the blooms. I felt their pull to darker places, and without something to keep my attention I decided it best to be home if an unpleasant memory or flashback popped up.

Stepping back in the house, done for the evening, I set my camera on the table and headed to the back porch to check out the sinking sun. I found something unexpected in one of my wind chimes.

I love wind chimes, their sound, their look, their delicate swaying presence. I have a special spot in my soul for geode chimes specifically. I’m sure I’ll write about them some day and dredge up a picture of my first geode – the one I picked from a pile at a roadside stand outside of Yellowstone then handed to an overalled man who cut it in two on his diamond bladed saw. The idea of prehistoric gas bubbles trapped in rock was already up the alley of this budding science geek, but then when I looked inside… there were crystals – geologic art hidden inside a boring grey rock. I was hooked.

A geode holds our star in its core.

Here, perfectly aligned with the setting sun on my back porch, one of my geode chimes held our star in its crystals. The universe once again is reminding me to stay present, to pay attention, to see the wonders in front of me, and not to give echos of the past too much sway.

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