Saturday, March 25, 2017


Primavera always makes me think "first green." In Italian, "verde" is green, and a little etymological hunting seems to confirm that at least some word hunters believe the Latin words for "spring" (ver) and "green" (viride) may go back to some shared root. it would certainly make sense.

This post isn't about the first green, but the blossoms that precede the green leaves. But primavera dictionarily means "spring," and that's what this is about. The coming to life after a period of dormancy. The colors after the more "meno-chrome" winter, if I may create a new word not for  the monochrome state of having only one color, but the winter-in-the-South state of having less color.

The grass was still actually monochrome at the time I took these pictures a couple of weeks ago, except for those few little green weeds.

We always had a flowering quince in the yard when I was growing up, so I wanted to have one in our yard here. When I called the nursery, the owner didn't have the brighter, solid peachey red I was hoping for, but he suggested this one instead.

I took a chance, based on his description over the phone.

And am so glad I did! It's really beautiful, and even though it's still a young thing,
this year it had more blossoms than the two years before.

I'm beginning to feel as if my own mind, body, and heart are coming to life again after a long winter.

I started this degree in 2012, the same year my mom began having serious health problems and hospitalizations that went on throughout the next four years. So it's been a very, very unusual five years since then. I often felt I couldn't give enough to school because of the family situation. And I often felt I couldn't give enough to my family because of school.

And yet, somehow the energy kept coming, and we made it through to my mom's beautiful and victorious ending. And I recently defended my thesis project, and am very close to bringing that to an ending. Not nearly the same kind of beauty and victory, but an ending I'll be thankful for.

Since the defense (on February 27), I have struggled with an exhaustion of mind, body, and spirit. I did stay up pretty late a few nights the week before the defense, but i don't think it's just that immediate sleep deprivation. I think it's five years of tiredness finally feeling free to make itself felt. Throughout the past month, I have just not felt capable of doing anything beyond what I absolutely had to do--and occasionally have cancelled commitments because I was just too tired even for those routine activities.

It has been, I must say, a wonderful thing to experience spring this year. I always love spring, but this year especially it is like a promise. A promise that new life will return, because it always does. It doesn't depend on the flowers or the birds or the trees to make it happen. The Creator and Sustainer makes it happen, year after year after year.

And so even though I must of course do what I can to get my sleep, eat well, rest, drink water, make time for the refreshment of friends and family--it doesn't depend on me to somehow make my energy return. I can trust that it will.

And little by little, just in the past week or so, it has been happening.

A couple of mornings I've waked up and felt alive, refreshed, eager to get up and get going. Sometimes it lasts two hours, sometimes four or five. Sometimes I've taken a short nap and felt energetic again in the afternoon.

I've been remembering recipes I haven't made in 4-5 years. I've begun playing the piano more than I have in a long time. Little by little it's as if my brain is finding more space available, and even my body is remembering routines it had to temporarily forget about for a while.

And here I am, writing on my blog!

The flowering quince is all in green now, at the time I'm writing this. Only four or five blossoms remain on the plant; the rest is all filled out in green leaves. Primavera.

But it was those blossoms that gave me so much hope and joy. They are fragile but beautiful, and this year they helped me believe that as fragile and tired as I've felt, the day would come when the sap would flow more fully, the green leaves would come out, and the plant would be ready for another season of growth.

I trust that I will be ready again before too long, too.

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come....
Song of Songs 2:11-12