Harbingers of change by Christina Rosalie

The finches flutter across the canvass like my heart: hopeful, but not yet at rest. How can it be that the shortest month lasts so long?

Like an x-ray, February exposes all the weak and tangled underpinnings of our lives. On every patch of muddy grass between the sidewalk and the curb I notice trash. Glass shards and rustling plastic bags, empty paper cups, bottle caps, cigarettes. In my own life, all the fragments, the torn bits, the shaky scaffolding seems to surface now too, and I catch myself wanting to pick everything apart.

Each day this month I have longed for softer edges, for green and sap and lingering daylight. Each day the tight wince of cold still seems to force its way in, making things complicated (the added annoyance of mittens for Bean who wriggles and wails every time we put them on.) Each day there has been some sort of friction, and it takes courage to push through right now, trusting that things won't fall irreparably apart.

DH and I are both spread thin, and in our lesser moments berate each other for the things we know neither of us can control. So it is a matter of intention now, in these last few weeks before the weather turns, to share joy. To play, to linger in each other’s arms, to carve out time for family amidst the all-consuming renovations.

So today we went to the park. Bean’s first time ever down a slide or up into the air on a swing outdoors. A hundred brand new smiles; giggles on the slide. Our grown up selves remembering the wild gravity-less arc of the swing set. It was still cold out, but warm enough to go bare handed. The ground was thawing. We could smell it’s earthy fragrance from the swings.

So we laughed a lot today, and I feel better. And when I started to look , I could see evidence of spring everywhere. Like a promise, the crocuses have sent their first green shoots up above the ground. New buds are swelling from the maples by the wall; ice no longer on the lake.