Spring fever

Call me paranoid, but spring usually means trouble for me. The powers that be always seem to want to teach me a life lesson, a really hard-to-accept universal law right around the time the flowers start to bloom and the snow melts away. Because I have entirely too much time on my hands, I ponder such things to the tiring of my mind and my spouse’s.

There are the obvious worries that collect in my head, much like the cluster flies in my window sills. First, there is the issue of bare feet. It’s getting warmer. Warm weather means toe exposure. Ten months of two feet in fleece socks means nobody in their right mind should see my ten ghastly digits naked. There isn’t a pedicure place in this area code that could make these feet look feminine. Imagine an ostrich in a sandal; that’s me.

Yep. When I go to the beach, I sink my feet in the sand. In school they called me “olive picker” because my feet were so pointed my classmates teased me that I could take an olive out of jar by spearing it. Nice. Our student body was not made of rocket scientists or comedy writers, but the insecurity has stuck with me. This season, I don’t care how un-cool those brightly coloured foam Crocs are either, because that is about as close to open toe shoes as these feet of mine are getting.

Who cares about my feet though, when I clearly have nothing to wear? The Carpenter loves that statement. He throws his hands up in the air, points to the kaleidoscope of coloured garments hanging in my closet and asks what exactly those clothes represent, if I am so destitute for fashionable apparel? Scoff. Just like a man. Doesn’t he realize that my poof sleeves were two years ago? Not to mention the sundress I’ve had since I was a killer whale (his definition, not mine) during my pregnancy. Why I believe he made blow-hole sounds when I wore it. That dress is now 10 years old. Surely he doesn’t expect me to wear those peddle-pushers again. As my 10-year-old daughter would say, “Those are so ancient” (I rely on her, because clearly I don’t understand fashion, or I’d never own a killer whale sundress).

No, spring has me paranoid because there seems to be a lot of bigger life lessons, as big as the changing of the seasons themselves. I have lost a lot of people I have loved in this season. There is a memory of sadness despite the warmth of the sun. I’ve had several really intense life wake-up calls, the kind that rock you to the core of your personal foundation, and they always happen in this special time between the frigid winter and the hot summer. Just this week, it happened again; the unexpected jolt of reality, followed by anxiety, tears and then the calmness that resides in the faith that I cannot control any of it, so all will be as it is. I spend most of my time trying to grapple with what that means, what that really means. Sometimes, I remember that I know the answer already.

Then hope arrives in the song of the birds, or the buds on the trees, the new grass (greener than I remembered) and the nest that we allow to grow in our gutters even though we really don’t want it there.

Life springs anew, even after the frozen winter. Change is constant. Hope is too. That’s nothing to be paranoid about. It’s just spring.

Kelly Waterhouse