Today I drank from the spring cup - an action which sounds mundane enough, but, let me assure you, has real repercussions in my personal life. Choosing the spring cup when the outdoor temp is thirty-five degrees Celsius and the indoor environment is damp with Lysol and flu, is an act of actual courage. It is, indeed, choosing to hope.
Of course, the spring cup is one of four. They’re coffee cups, Norman Rockwells, and duplicates of the set I had when I first moved away from home. Each has a depiction of a season and a boy with his dog – you’ve seen this, right? - and in the spring, the boy is already barefooted. He’s pouring cough syrup for the poor little dog, who has his head covered and is sad-eyed with the flu. Yes, like the rest of us.
Possibly because I’m a farmer’s daughter, I find myself extremely affected by the seasons, and I tend to mold my life around them. I read books, choose music and socks and movies, all according to the time of year, and it’s always felt to me as though, by doing so, I exert just the teensiest bit of authority over that which cannot be controlled.
Ah Lord, how we’ve longed for spring this year! So long, now, since the snow felt magical or the cold invigorating. No, we’ve descended into this quagmire of germs, mud and discontent. Apathetic, lethargic, peaked, we cry at home and squabble on facebook.
The spring cup came out of the cupboard today, and I filled it with Irish Crème coffee, and right away, through the back-screen door, I saw a sliver of green beneath the magnolia tree. And I know, I am absolutely certain, that if I slip on rain boots and climb the hill, I’ll find the first crocus peeking out between the hollows of a fallen tree.
I’m choosing spring. Right now, today, so that even if it snows again, I’ll know the sun is right behind it.
I found the soundtrack to Chocolat and, first thing, the opening chords blew away the stale winter blahs. A sky that had been leaden now looked tempestuous, instead - and I suspected it was tinged with blue. Behind the hill, where I couldn’t see it. I slipped on my shamrock socks and felt ten pounds lighter. I opened Wuthering Heights and saw a shimmer of lightning across the pages. Rain pelting from a nickel-plated sky to splat into puddles that smell like earthworms and heaven.
Hope is, I believe, nine-parts pig-headedness and one-part sheer ignorance.
I don’t care if it’s still winter. Today, I am drinking spring.
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