Same Old Wind
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Today was the first day of Spring… 2012… as I waked Eli The Dog at 0600 there was an unseasonably warm wind blowing… already in the sixties. The Ides Of March have passed and Memorial Day is not yet here. I let that wind dance through my olfactory senses and I realized what an old friend it was. I don’t remember this of course, but I’ll bet my first Spring in March of 1941 was anointed by this same breeze.
The earth turns… seasons come and go and every year a Spring breeze nurtures us with hope for the coming season. Sometimes it is harder than others to perceive this. This year it was easy. Yesterday Izze and I were wrapping some present for Vanessa’s upcoming birthday… ‘Let me make the card myself, Dad,’ she stated firmly. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘You’re on your own.’
‘Give me a couple of sheets of plain white paper and I’ll do the rest…’ This stated with authority by my almost six year old. ‘You got it,’ I replied. ‘Dad’s on the case.’
Out came the who knows how many crayons from her trip to the Crayola Factory. Out came glitter markers, scissors, glue, tape… ‘How do you spell ‘birthday,’ she asked? ‘What’s the first word in ‘Birth Mother?’ B…I…R…T…H… yeah, she got it and she had no trouble with D…A…Y.
She spent an hour working on this project… that was yesterday and she’s finishing it today. ‘Mommy’s going to have the very bestest birthday EVER!’
Yep… could happen. This morning Izze and I went to the butcher in Logan. I just had a steer slaughtered there and I figured if you’re going to eat meat, you might want to know where it comes from. ‘I smell horse poop, Dad,’ she wrinkled her nose. ‘Well, it’s poop alright… but it’s cow not horse.’ We talked about the circles of life and our place in the food chain… well for us meat eaters anyway. She absorbed it all as she helped me with loading the meat trays in my Jeep. This beautiful steer dressed out at 611 pounds of meat. That’s what I’m talking about… organic home grown beef. Once you’ve tasted this stuff… you just can’t go back to store bought.
Anyway… we dropped the meat off and she finished up her art work on Mommy’s card. Yesterday she practiced relentlessly for an hour on her bicycle. We’re going back to the bike path to log some time in. ‘Don’t hold me Daddy. I can do it myself!’ Of course I would always like to be there to hold her… but at five… it’s already time to start learning how to let go.
Well… back to the bike path… I realized that the Barbie Bike was… well, a complete piece of junk so I went to the Athens Bike Shop and bought her a little Trek two wheeler… no training wheels. Now we’re talking. Back to the bike path again and she’s getting it a little at a time, just like we all did.
And there’s that breeze, bringing us a little respite in the 87 degree heat. I know that wind… it gentled me when I was learning to ride back in my hometown… D.C., in the late 40’s. That moment came when I rode free for the first time and that same wind that was with me then, was with us today… many Springtimes down the road.
A couple days ago was the fifth anniversary of Izze’s ‘Gottcha’ day… the day when she was put in Vanessa’s arms for the first time. Five years… a half a decade. A blink of the eye in my old world… a lifetime in hers… for now. Five years with Izze and my son graduates middle school in June and next year he’ll be in high school and in less than five years he’ll be out of his Mom’s house in college or whatever.
He called me yesterday from Hains Point where he was taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. I’m sure that wind was there, rustling the petals for him as it did for me and my brother when we were kids in the same place.
That wind… it reminds me of what is important… The flow of life, borne on that wind… the growing of family… the ability to keep on learning… the ability to enjoy each day as it comes whether or not there are stones in the road.
I think of that wind as I sit hear in my seventies next to our five year old daughter who is coloring and speaking thoughts that might elude most five year olds. ‘I’ve been working so hard,’ she says, and pats herself on the back… literally.
I’m not patting myself on the back. My rewards don’t come from me anymore. I would like to see as many Springs as I can and feel that wind on my face until the time comes for me open that Door Into Summer. Enough. Now is the time for smiling.
…and I am smiling.