Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday's Reflection: May

This month our life here in our St Paul home feels as if it is beginning, even though we moved in Thanksgiving weekend six months ago. First, there was the initial unpacking and settling in, along with celebrating the holidays. Much of the winter months was devoted to getting my father's house ready to sell, and then just when that project was completed, I fell and broke my ankle the end of March. I was so preoccupied with healing that I barely noticed spring creeping its way into place, but now I am moving about more freely, the weather is warm and welcoming, and our life here feels real and right. 

Instead of rushing in from the garage to get out of snow and cold,  we have now opened the windows and doors, and we hear conversations of people passing by on the sidewalk. We have placed two chairs under the lovely front yard tree, a tree identified by a friend as a Korean Lilac, and neighbors come over to ask how I am doing and to comment on all the work Bruce has been doing in the yard. Although we struggle to remember everyone's names, we sense a friendliness and a hospitable atmosphere that reinforces the feeling we have landed well. Our kids bike over from their home only blocks away --just because they can, and oh, how we love that. 

Inside the house started looking like ours quickly, once we had the first floor walls and woodwork painted and then replaced the kitchen counters and backsplash. We hung artwork and filled bookshelves, and relaxed into the space, but now the outside is beginning to reflect us as well. My husband happily buzzed from nursery to nursery the past couple weekends, identifying the specialties of each, and then spent hours planting pots and new flower beds, mulching, mowing, and watering. The results are stunning, I might add. 


The Merry Month of May
I am reminded of Vivian Swift writing about May in her book When Wanderers Cease to Roam, A Travelers Journal of Staying Put. She calls May the "month of secrets."

        There's a strange new sound everywhere, a roar of
        murmurs. It's the May breeze rustling in the trees,
        the leaves making the sh-sh-shushhhhhhing sound of 
        a thousand secrets.
            From November to April the trees are silent. Not a
        sound, day or night. But now every branch is full of
        of leaves and the trees are suddenly full of echoes.
        The noise spreads from tree to tree with every gust of
        wind, like a conversation of urgent whispers.  p. 71

In our case, the whispers share secrets of life here.  What fun it has been to discover what is already here--lilacs and miniature iris, and a chive plant, along with rhododendrons, but what is that little tree in the front yard and is it something we want to keep? Will the bunny who seems to be in the backyard every time I look out the kitchen window stick to eating grass instead of flower blossoms and just when will the robin eggs in the pansy basket hatch? What will grow under the evergreens and what's the vine going up the fence? Secrets are revealed with each passing day of sunshine.

Almost June
Before we know it, it will be June, which according to Swift is the "month with wings." 
        It's June's job to remind me that there are still surprises 
        in the air, glittering like dragonflies' wings. Because
        June is full of marvelous winged things, butterflies,
        blue jays, bemusements, and bumblebees, fluttering
        everywhere. That sparkle in the air? It might be my
        next change of mind. That weightless sense of flight?
        It could be me, winging to new adventure. Anything 
        can happen. It's June. p. 87

Last May I didn't know we would be here this May. And now I look forward to our first June here, too. This is a time of secrets revealed and surprises arriving on the breeze.

An Invitation
What secrets have been revealed to you this spring? How have you been surprised? In what ways does this spring feel like your first wherever you find yourself? I would love to know. 

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