Today I took a photo of the first spring daffodil to bloom in my garden.
As I posted it to to Facebook, I started crying.
Just over three years ago I moved into my home after a heartbreaking but necessary separation. I was sad, excited (weird, I know), confused, and frightened. I had no idea if I would ever be happy again. I was scared for my child and for myself. Over the next couple of months winter became spring, and the significance of that seasonal transformation, at that time in my life, is hard to put into words. The daffodils, fragile and tender, pushing through the still-cold earth, were, to me, more glorious than any other year. The blossom tree outside my living room window was a beacon of beauty. Birds crowded it, swooping and twittering, and I couldn’t get enough of them. I felt a glimmer – just a glimmer – of hope. I started smiling.
Three years later, I’m in a much better space. But today’s tears reminded me that we never truly “move on” or “get over it”. We carry our life bruises with us. They become us. And, as I have discovered, they make us better, richer, fuller humans. Luckily for me, I can write about them.
Here’s a poem I wrote on the eve of spring, three years ago.
Even the laundry
with its sleepy smell of crisping linen
is an ode to what is over;
The washing machine’s whirr and thump no longer the busy symphony
of domestic comfort,
but simply what one must do
to get through.
A benign legion of bees rejoice and hum and sup,
drowsy and blissful,
at the blossom tree that has transformed my winter windows
to an erotic riot of pink and tui.
Wings crack and swish, branches swoop and shake.
My cat presses his face, hot and earthy from the sun, to mine.
He chirps, his heart a bird.
It will be spring tomorrow.