I can smell the freesia and roses from across the room. It’s not until I’ve gathered the first bouquet from our front yard that the disappearance of winter becomes palpable for me. It’s true that we’ve been lolling about in 70°-plus weather for over a week, with more in store for the next several days. Sandals have snuck their way toward the front of my closet, and my various pairs of boots have drooped into a corner of the bedroom. We’ve tossed the extra blanket off the bed, and the cat seems considerably less interested in wedging herself between our butts at bedtime. I don’t know about you, but to me these things all sound suspiciously like warning signs of Spring. And thank God fer it.
It is my time of year. I remember a sleeveless dress my mother sewed for me when I was in sixth grade . . . it was covered in small, bright orange and pink flowers, and had a slightly flippy skirt that I loved. When she finished it I wore it right away, and savored the feeling of a slightly chilly early morning breeze against my skinny pre-pubescent legs. It was just a few months before I got my first period, and before the terrifying transition from grade school to junior high. But that spring, my last as a carefree girl who didn’t have to worry about wearing white clothes, was a charmed moment in my life.
Fifteen years later when I was getting divorced from my first husband, sharing an apartment with a small, squeaky-voiced and seriously neurotic pre-med student (who once managed to murder a mouse with her typewriter), and majoring in journalism, the season seduced me like it always has. We lived close to the university, and often walked to and from classes. The days warmed and I started pulling sundresses and halter tops from the back of my closet. The sluggish bear in me also awoke from its winter torpor, and morphed into a young woman keenly conscious of the sideways glances from male classmates and instructors.
Though I initiated the divorce, it was still a confusing and depressing time for me. I still loved my husband, but knew we were headed in very different directions and would have to face it sooner or later. So I wandered into spring, lost and lonely in every way (thank you Dire Straits). But I had pretty cool clothes at the time, longish sweeping skirts and embroidered shirts, and thought of myself as feminine, but in a distinctly non-girly sort of way, if that makes any kind of sense. (Cool clothes never hurt.)
But it’s late and I should have gotten myself to bed a long time ago . . . strong coffee will ever be my friend and ally in the A.M.