Monday, April 14, 2008

spring fever

This morning Zeke (my pitt bull) and I took an early walk through Riverside Park and down by the river. Spring is here. The sky is a clearer and crisper blue than it's been in months. There is a clarity in the air that doesn't happen in winter. Bunches of daffodils are bursting on all the hillsides of the park landscape. The crab apple trees have fluffy white boughs and, though the cherries haven't blossomed, they are covered with small points of deep pink. Pink pin pricks of promise.

It's hard not to be aware of the presence of a Higher Power when the world begins this transformation. When seemingly everything emerges from it's cold, grey cocoon and arrives anew flowering with life and color.

I enjoy the change of weather. I'm glad not to be burdened by cumbersome outerwear. I enjoy all the flowers and foliage. And yet I'm sad. All this new life reminds me of the passing of time.

This is my birthday week. Where was I last year? Where will I be next year? Have I made strides in accomplishing my personal goals?

Two days ago I found a photo of myself by doing a Google image search of a former moniker. A photo I will not publish here thank you very much. Why I was driven to do this will continue to escape me. Perhaps precisely because it is my birthday week. Whatever the reason, aside from the obvious thick head of hair, thirty inch waist and abs (yes, at one time I actually had abs), the difference between then and now is staggering. There is a deficiency of worldly wisdom and informed judgement in the eyes offset by an arrogant bring it on stance. A deficiency that has been replaced by experimentation and experience. What is so remarkable to me about my response to this photo is that I remember not being pleased with the way I looked at the time. Years from now will I look at a photo of me now and feel the same way?

Outward appearances are not accurate representations of inward reality.

Will I never be pleased with what I have? Is this dissatisfaction part of the human condition or are certain of us programmed to believe that we aren't good enough? I try to express gratitude for what I do have. What a gift to live in a place where I am able to see, daily, the spectrum of humanity from poverty to privilege. For someone like me, who is seldom able to be right sized and rarely able to stay there for long, this is a great blessing.

I may not have all that I want. I may not always feel good about where I am at a given moment. Today, however, I am able to distinguish feelings from facts. I know that I am cared for and protected. The spring flowers may bring up certain feelings but the fact is that it is spring and the flowers are lovely.

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