Memories From the Balcony – Springtime

Suddenly, it’s all vast and green, the hills, the fields, the leaves on the trees are all green again. They call this springtime.
To me, I call this a seasonal rebirth. Everything that faded returns.
Life blooms and the weather warms. It is the second day of March and as we spin around in orbit, our side of the world tilts one day closer to the sun. This means that soon enough, the days will be longer.
Soon the winds will be warmer and the sun will be stronger.
Soon enough, the ground will thaw and the red-breasted robins will return to signal that springtime has arrived.

It won’t be long now.
Soon enough, the mornings will appear earlier and the sunset will come later.
The days will be longer and the sun will shine a little brighter.
Before you know it, life will move into a different swing. The vibe will be high and the world will open a little more.
By the way, there’s another word for this too. I call this hope.
There’s another version of this which I depend on.
I depend upon the cyclical nature of life and more than springtime or more than just the rebirth of life in a northern town, I could use a little dash of hope.

I call this as I see it.
I see the new and upcoming months as a symbol of promise.
I believe in the cycles of life and that all which crumbles will re-rise or return and become whole or colorful again.
Like us, always moving and always changing. Always scheduled to repeat ourselves yet nothing is ever the same and nothing ever repeats exactly as it was.
I say that the upcoming rebirth is a sign. It’s a symbol for a new standard to which I want to apply to my life –
To have hope
To believe
To embrace the warmth like an old friend who’s been gone too long
and to enjoy the sunset as it goes down above the sea.

I need these things.

I say this is more powerful than you or I could ever believe,
The rebirth of springtime – this is enough to let the breeze move through our hair.
It’s a distraction, perhaps.
Or maybe this is a redirection of terms or maybe the new season us something to come along and suspend the disbelief for a minute; that all which lives in a sense is reborn again into a new realm of existence. That all which has passed is gone to become new again.
I like that idea. 

I say that while life goes on, life happens to us on a daily basis; yet, there are times when it seems as if life stands still.
There are times when you’re stuck in the middle of an absolute crisis and although the tunnel seems long and while there may seem like there’s no way out; the light ahead is dwindling and your legs are too tired to take you another step – but somehow, something’s going to change.
Something’s got to come our way.

I know there were times when I wondered if life would be like this forever.
I know there were days when I was struggling and I swore that I would always feel this way.
Forever and always are a really long time.
Both are infinite and ongoing.
Also, forever and ongoing are inaccurate assumptions that we come to because we forget all things will, do and must change.

Maybe this is why I’ve always appreciated the first signs of spring.
Maybe it’s a memory from my old neighborhood where the streets were quiet in my suburban part of the world.
Maybe it’s a memory of an Italian woman who used to hang her bedsheets on a clothes line and with this, I felt a certain hopefulness.
Maybe it was the sign that the coldness was about to give way and that warmth was about to overtake the land. 

I remember a dream of mine from when I was a small boy.
I used to dream about a lazy stream that cuts through a tall meadow with a weeping willow that slightly moved from a gentle breeze.
I used to see this as a real place only I’ve never been here before.
Just in my mind.
Just when I was young.
Just when I needed something to pick me up and remind me that forever is only a concept of the mind.

I think about the trips I used to take through my town.
I used to walk for hours. In fact, I must have walked across my town at least a hundred times, if not more.
I remember the feelings and the sentiments of the new season pwhich was about to come.
I remember the upcoming fascination for the summertime and the hopefulness of long, lazy days with the sun on my face and all of our cares were abandoned.
Ah, the beach.
Ah, the ideas of maybe going down to visit The Gulf of Mexico
Just to see or just to put my feet in the water to see if the gulf feels as good as I’ve always imagined.

Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t mind the winter months.
I don’t mind the necessary forms of hibernation.
I don’t mind the differences between the seasons because I believe this allows us a moment to compartmentalize the bliss of our memory.

I can say that while some of my summers were cold; I can also say that some of the warmest experiences of my life were spent in the winter months.
More to the point, our spiritual temperature coincides with the subjects that keep us happy, as in not thinking too much or, for me, I like the idea of not worrying about the shape of my body or the comparisons that come when standing next to someone on the beach with a perfect body – I want to be absent of this.
Absent of living with envy, living in insecurity and lost to the sad concepts of our useless comparisons.

I have been trying to teach myself some new tactics on how to live in the moment.
To be clear, this hasn’t been an easy task.
But, it’s working and, therefore, it’s worth it.
I’ve been working on a new strategy that supports my best levels or effectiveness which is important when it comes to living our best life.
As it stands now, I know what my worst life looks like and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this. Therefore, it’s time to define my best life as best as I can.
I’ve been trying to notice the positives which, to me, is the same as noticing the first few blossoms in the springtime.
I know what lifelessness looks like. I know this all too well.
I know what trouble looks like. I know what anger looks like too.
I’ve seen this before and so have you.

I know that while not everything can be peaches and cream.
Or, as my Mother used to tell me: life isn’t always going to be a rose garden.
I get it.
I know that the world is a cyclical place.
There are times when we are riding high on the crest of a wave and as we rise, there will be times when the waves fold or tumble into sand.

I know that forgetting myself or my humility has a way of forcing me to revisit my truths, which means forgetting myself or thinking more about my importance is enough to let me forget what it means to fall.
However, we all fall.
We all hurt. We all skin our knees at some point. 
This happens for some more than for others.
But me? I’ve had my share of bumps and bruises.
(Haven’t you?)

The aim is to remember the falls.
The aim is to remember the lessons so that we can cut down on the pains or the scrapes and bruises.

It is important for me that I keep this in mind.
Otherwise, history keeps coming back until I learn my lesson.
It is important to know that anything and everything can change in an instant.
Therefore, if we forget our settings or if we forget where we came from or what it took to get where we are – it can be a long fall and a hard blow when we’re knocked to the ground again.

My buddy Mike once told a barn boss, “Sounds like you need to get off your high horse and walk a while pal.”
He said this more than 30 years ago and it’s been just as long since I saw him last.
Mike wasn’t one to submit to a new culture.
He wasn’t looking for a change, least of all the changes that were being forced upon him.
Either way, I remember that saying.
Get off your high horse and walk a while . . .

Maybe this is why the world is equipped with seasons.
Maybe this is why we go through winters in our soul.
Maybe this is why I appreciate the first blooms of spring – to let me know that a change is on the way,
to remind me that things move in turns
to keep me going, keep me moving,
and to keep me from thinking that forever is always.

Life changes.
So have I
So have you

And as for my buddy Mike –
I’m sure he’s changed too.
But I hope not totally.

He was a really good guy.

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