Spring Pondering

photo credit: Bored via photopin (license)
photo credit: Bored via photopin (license)
It seems as though spring has popped up out of nowhere. Chicks bustling about, running, chasing, eating, sleeping. A broody hen (again?!), dwelled upon her nonexistent life. The final push towards the end of the school year. Children antsy, staying up later than is good for anyone. Concerts, barbecues, summer plans conversations, field trips, last minute desperate attempts to raise grades. A far cry from the sparse, desolate, oddly comforting days of winter. Snow blanketing the ground, too cold for any normal person to venture out, excuses ready to not go, to not pursue, to rest, to watch yet another episode.

Green everywhere, leaves flickering in the wind. Animals feeding off the lush grass, the ready worms just at the surface from long days of rain. Sun shining around full clouds. A true beauty. The privilege of going outside without stifling layers. The freedom from biting cold and gnawing wind.

The new challenges. Weeds everywhere, me never getting ahead of their relentless reaching upward and around, binding. Insect numbers growing, flies needling through open doors, awaiting their opportunity to filter inside, to ruin rest and make people crazy with dishtowels flying. Moth seeking light. Sunburn first, a reminder of the need for sunscreen reapplication. Runs with sweat dripping in eyes, rather than trembling to the shower with frost attached to all loose hairs.

Changes abound. Seasons are relentlessly welcome, yet prices must be paid. All change comes hard, even when it’s anticipated, desired. All change requires pushing and pulling, negotiation and doubt. All change, beautiful as it is, has an underbelly, a curse, second guessing, a brief longing, to return to “normal”.

I often approach the  summer break with trepidation, an unease of having the children home, managing disagreement, missing my lonely days with them in school. I feel a failure, many times, failing to organize a full schedule: playdates (whoops..”hang out time”), camps, work opportunities, music lessons. I wonder about the 10 weeks of brain fry that happens when far too many hours waste away on devices. The mother guilt can nearly eat me alive as my body longs to rest from the schedule, the run around, the deadlines. I tend to feel better when I succumb to what I know I need to do…pack up bikes, hiking boots, swimsuits…and do something. But the hurdle it feels like to overcome some days can be more than I want to manage.

I enjoy their company, learning about them, knowing our days are so swiftly numbered. Two teenagers, ready to fly the coop, where future summers should be about significant others, jobs, college and angst.

I guess, like most things (or all things), it comes down to kindness, it comes down to compassion. Some days may invite excursions and grand adventures. Other days may invite lounging in the air conditioning.

I pray, I hope we strike the balance this break. Where life can be lived slow and lazy, with structure and opportunity. With room for laughter and growth, friends and occupation. I pray, I hope I give myself vast amounts of kindness and compassion, space to be separate, room to grow personally, not all dedicated to the young people in my life. For a little out-of-balance is not the worst thing that ever was. 

A little bit of rest is not awful and a whole lot of busy is just fine.