Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Forward March

Forward, March

It's March now in Atlanta, which means all the flowers are blooming again. The daffodils opened up in my uncle's backyard this weekend, yellow and beautiful. All the bulbs are out again, pushing up new green splits for later irises and tigerlillies. There are even a few rare dandelions that have gone to seed, flowers that made it through February and are now little puff balls ready to be blown away on wishes. My two-year-old cousin brings in a violet or clover flower or other little blooming thing she picks out of the grass every time she comes inside. Her forehead creases in all seriousness as she looks at the flowers, a frown of concentration on her face. She can talk now with words instead of signs; her vocabulary has exploded in the six months I've been here. "Flower." She'll say. "I picked it."

I love being here at last for spring. In Nashville my sisters still have to wear sweaters, and farther north Aral assures me that the snow and harsh winds still blow daily. Dust complains about his first winter in the north, about how the snow won't melt but packs itself into a lingering icy crust. Meanwhile where I am, this week has a high of at least 60 projected for each day, and the sun peeks through rainy days - the end of what passes for winter here. We're only a few hundred miles above the semi-tropical steam of the southern swamps here. There are really only two seasons - wet and dry, or mild and hot if you prefer - and that suits me just fine. I don't care if I never see another snow bank in my entire life. I think back to when Ryan took me out to walk across a frozen lake, and I'm glad I got to do that. I'm glad I went and saw a river iced over, and that I walked in snowshoes once. But you know what? I'm more glad that I'll probably never have to that again.

Forward, March. Bring on the sunny skies of April, the swimming pools of May, the boiling heat of the Atlanta summer. Bring me all the changes I know are coming, the changes I've been waiting years for. Bring me an adulthood with a house in my name, as much food as I'd like in the cupboard, and provisions to run my life with.

And March replies: Double time, gladly. Time seemed slow while I was unemployed, where a week seemed like two and every day without a job was just another frustration to get through. Now that I'm working, time passes so quickly I can hardly pause to catch my breath, to keep my affairs in order. My room looks a horrid mess, and I need to sort through my bills and write half a dozen letters and plan for April and May, which approach all to quickly. Even August seems all too close, with its huge gatherings spying on me, asking when I'll start making preparations.

It's time to March. In a straight line, no delays, no looking back, quick like a bunny, or better yet, the wolf behind the bunny. March: Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's in the 'boro, Knoxville and even Augusta. Then April, with Brunswick and West Virginia and finding a new place to live. And May, hey, I'll be ready, I'm sure. A move and a giant party in May. Cross your fingers for me, I'm double quick and overloading.

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