Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ode to Spring

It's nearly 8:00 as I sit in the living room writing this. The windows in the house are still open, the light is just fading in the west over the houses across the street, and birds are chirping constantly. A few minutes ago, I heard geese honking as they flew overhead, back from the south for the spring.

Spring has never been my favorite season. I love summer: all the heat and light; the long, lazy days; the beach and campfires and lemonade stands and grills. I love fall even more for its smells, its beauty, its flavors and coziness. But spring has always been just above winter on my list. It's fine, yes, but along with the budding and blooming always came so much rain and mud and gloom. There was always the sense that it SHOULD be warmer than this, by now, and the disappointment that it wasn't.

Not this spring. We're halfway through an unseasonably warm March, and I am loving it like never before. The last traces of snow have completely disappeared, and I just went running in shorts and a t-shirt. The girls wore flip-flops and short sleeves outside this afternoon. The streets in our town look a Chamber of Commerce brochure for Active Community! - everywhere you look, people are walking to get ice cream, walking the dog, running, biking, getting out the grills and the gardening tools. The daffodil leaves are poking through the dirt. The crocuses are blooming. And we just want to spend every sunny minute outside.

Being outside all day is wonderful, of course, except that nothing gets done inside the house. I mean, maybe I dash in to switch a load of laundry here and there, or maybe a sneak in a Target run first thing in the morning, but mostly we're sidewalk chalking and riding bikes to the park and cavorting with the neighbors in our yard.

Last week, when it rained a little, I had an ambitious dinner plan for each night of the week. We had pasta with turkey sausage and vegetables, falafel with hummus, chicken noodle soup, biscuits, salad, grilled tenderloin, risotto. I cooked. I loved it. This week? Zero. I have absolutely no interest in what people around here eat for dinner, but I do know that I want it to be ready in about 3 minutes and require no effort on my part.

Just before Jason was due home for dinner tonight, a wise friend called. "Oh, hi, I'm just photographing gold sticks," I answered, and explained our spontaneous art project that was inspired by yesterday's visit to Meijer Gardens, where the current exhibition features an artist who built sculptures out of found wood and sticks, some of it glazed with gold leaf. The girls and I promptly came home, gathered all the sticks in our yard yesterday, and painted them today.

My friend laughed, and I admitted that I felt like a bad wife, an irresponsible mom. It was after 6:00, and the girls were watching a movie on the couch, all tuckered out after their afternoon at the park, while nothing cooked on the stove, nothing sat in freshly-laundered piles in a hamper. "Jason's going to walk in the door," I laughed, "and he's going to ask what we did today, and I'm going to have to say 'We painted sticks gold.'"

"That's what you're going to remember about today. That's what's important, not dinner, not a clean house," she said.

Next week, maybe, the cooking inspiration will strike again, and I'll get to that spring cleaning project this weekend sometime. For today, we biked. We ran. We pushed each other on the swings. We opened all the windows. We painted sticks.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! A very wise friend, indeed. I so need to do this more often. Do you do take out or sandwiches together in these situations? I need to come up with more easy, quick ideas for days like these.