The Absence Of Color


I always thought I hated Winter with such a passion just because of the harsh, brutal temperatures, the raw wind and the mountains of snow and the biggest evil, ice. For someone with no balance looking down at a sheet of ice and having nothing to hold to grip, is pure terror. Those reasons alone are enough to hate Winter but I figured out recently there was something else that I hadn’t put into words before.

 

English: A digital photo that used to be in co...

 

Winter is gray, black and white, while the other seasons are filled with vivid colors in various things. I miss the bright bunch of wildflowers popping up in the meadow, multi-colored and alive, the rich crimson of roses trailing down a newly painted white trellis. The bright green of a neighbor’s lawn, glossy and spiked like army soldiers standing at attention.

 

Nate, our neighbor, spends hours on his lawn, every Spring, Summer and Fall to make sure that each blade of grass is equal. I know that in the Winter he is just longing to be outside, as much as I am. I have dubbed him “The Mayor,” the unofficial mayor of our little neighborhood.

 

It’s a very long Winter here, the snow will start falling any day now and it will last, at least, until late April. I don’t like it but I have no choice so this year I am accepting it, not fighting with it. Moaning and groaning about it hasn’t helped before and it only makes ME feel worse so why bother? I will keep myself happy doing something else, I will learn to bake or cook new things. Maybe, I will write a book.

I guess after the long Winter I appreciate the Spring even more. Oh, when the first bud of a purple crocus  pops up, sometimes even through the snow we know the end of Winter is near. Soon the budding yellow leaves of a forsythia bush in our backyard will slowly begin to show themselves and I cut some stalks to bring inside the house. I put them in a tall, dark blue vase, the only one I will use, loving the contrast of dark blue and yellow. They stand proudly waiting to burst, happiness from the outside proud to bring us joy inside our home.

In the Spring and Summer the sun is out shining brightly against a baby blue sky. Colorful birds sing to each other, we listen to their songs, we watch their beautiful, petite bodies flash in front of our eyes with different colors. I will try hard to let the absence of color in the outside world not strip the color of my world as well. I’m sure I can do it, it will be fine. I’m looking at Winter with a different attitude. I’ll find color inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plinky Prompt: For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Pick.

157 Flowers in the Sky

157 Flowers in the Sky (Photo credit: Andreas.)

  • For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to? See all answers
  • Which season? Seriously?
  • You’re kidding right? As if there was a choice, at least for me….Anyone who knows me is probably laughing now. Fall hardening into winter? Not a chance in the world. Ever. I hate the winter, hate to be cold, hate the length of winter, the slippery snow and ice. Nothing appeals to me about long winters, I’ve been begging to move to a warmer climate but we can’t do that just yet.
    I know people say that because we have these long winters we appreciate spring more but I have to say I don’t think there is anyone else that appreciates spring more than me. The beauty of a sun drenched sky, sun warming my shoulders, daffodils popping up, pink flowers lighting up the blue sky, the first crocus; I am grateful for every one of them. The cardinals come home, chirping their happy song, flying, their red coats, like a flash of reward and hope.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Happy Yellow Crocuses (Croci) Day To All My Friends At

Mellow Yellow Monday. Please Enjoy.

Haiku Heights – SPRING

Crib Stand 2

Crib Stand 2 (Photo credit: Clover_1)

San Carlos IR wildflowers, 2010, Sunset

Image via Wikipedia

“You sprung me” she said

I lifted her from the crib

Her first memory.

************************************************************************************************************************

Wildflowers twinkle

waving in the morning sun

after winter’s blight

**********************************************************************************************************************

Startled crocuses

Man In The Moondance under the moonlight’s smile

very eager to please.

In Spring

Some beautiful flowers in the sun.

I like the taste of blood in my mouth as I rip the skin from my bottom lip. In some way it’s soothing, familiar, it’s not a particular good taste but not a bad taste either. I don’t consider this self-harming.  I do it more in the winter when my lips are particularly dry but the dryness is really just a prelude to an activity to be performed. You really can’t lose in this game.

It’s been far too long since I have left my house for “socialization” purposes; I am a gorilla needing social training.  I think I’m starved for people, conversation, maybe conversation over food. I haven’t had that for the last four weeks. It’s almost like I’ve lived like a monk.  A monk and her dog.

I have tired myself out today and tonight by cleaning  things. We have buckets that are still not unpacked from the “construction site project.” I don’t know if we will ever get to them or just put them aside in our already over-cluttered basement. In cleaning things I find relics from when my children were very young; my daughter’s tiny, faded, soft, pink ballet shoes, my son’s five-year-old’s beaming face on his baseball photo, a radiant smile of my husband and my fake “engagement photograph.” We did not want anything formal so we had this amazing, fun photo taken of us, full of hope, flirtation, tenderness and surprise. We were looking forward to all the possibilities in our future, our informal wedding, places to travel, maybe babies some day. It’s so lovely to be young and in love.

I sit tonight among boxes and huge plastic rubber tubs, some filled with paper, some empty; my answer to organizing is to sit in the middle of all these items, surrounded by my past. I try to throw out as much as possible but I don’t get very far. I do know where I have been but I have marked that in a box labeled “SENTIMENTAL.” A big achievement for me.

Now, I need to look forward, beyond the blood of the bleeding lip, beyond my daughter’s wonderful acceptance to colleges. I need to stop feeling old and tired and worn out. My heart and head haven’t caught up yet but I know they will. Perhaps when the forsythia blooms bright yellow and the crocus’ peek out from the ground and the weather warms itself up like a buttermilk biscuit melting with butter. I, too shall start anew.

Things I'm Thankful For

Harvest Moon

Image by k4dordy via Flickr

In no particular order:

1) Confectioner’s sugar

2) A new book

3) Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

4) The smell of burning wood in a fireplace

5) The sight (and song) of a “Harvest Moon

and of course, family, friends, my dog, sunshine, the first crocus, milk chocolate, my own banana bread, deviled eggs and laughter.

My Spring To-Do List

Blooming Forsythia

Image via Wikipedia

There are beautiful yellow forsythia blooming, an occasional purple crocus, the beginning of grass seeds growing. There are rain showers all the time, gray skies, rain pelting down from the sky like rock stars playing and dancing along with their jumping guitars.

I always have the same thing on my spring to-do list: cleaning, getting rid of the old, broken stuff, the clutter, the sentimental memorabilia that should not be sentimental anymore. Keep the memories, but get rid of junk, plastic gadgets, piles of magazine articles, painful shoes. Old toys and old clothing from my teenagers should be given away in black trash bags to be picked up by Big Brother, Big Sister. I need to declutter my brain, rid myself of the layers of thick, molten dust both on the furniture and in my cloudy head. I need to get rid of so many things so I will be able to move ahead, in my mind and in my life. My children are not little anymore, they need me much less, soon they will be off to college. I don’t want to be here surrounded only by old memories, I need to make new memories, not cling to the past. I need to emotionally accept the difference and move on.

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Poetry

Northern Cardinal

Image by RunnerJenny via Flickr

Spring

Wind-swept hair falling in my green eyes making them tear up, like sudden heart-break.

The first struggling purple croci reaching for the sun

Cold temperatures still make us shake and  burrow

our necks into pink and red embroidered scarves

while the beautiful red cardinals start singing their delightful songs.

Night

Everything is scary when you wake up at 3:30am.

Twinges tickling your stomach as your mind taunts you.

What was just a thought last night is a devastating situation now.

I try to rock myself to sleep, back and forth, my eyes deadlocked

on the digital clock, numbers flipping past at an enormous speed.

Deep breaths, resolutions, solutions, I think nothing will feel better

until  the morning with its gift of my first cup of strong and milky coffee.

The Lingering Smell Of Basil

A cooked hot dog garnished with mustard.

Image via Wikipedia

As soon as I feel the first warm hint of spring on my shoulders and see the first crocus I immediately rejoice! It’s Spring, not officially, but in my snow-sickened world it is the start. As soon as Spring is even in the air I start thinking of having barbeques, especially the one BIG BBQ we try to have every few years.  I’m imagining all our friends and family out in the back yard eating cheeseburgers from the Weber grill, dripping with either cheddar or American cheese. I think about   grilled chicken with barbecue sauce and juicy hot dogs, and bright yellow mustard. I also think of potato chips, the real kind, the ones we had as kids and not the baked, healthy, kind either. There would be Heinz ketchup, (of course I’m brand loyal) potato salad made with a touch of mayonnaise, coleslaw and perhaps a large tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil and a touch of light green extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the vibrant red tomatoes and the creamy white mozzarella cheese. I love how the earthy smell of basil lingers between your fingertips all afternoon.

In addition, we may have small roasted potatoes on the grill along side smokey-sweet yellow and white kernels of corn on the cob.  Red and white plastic table cloths, bright red or blue plastic plates (preferably the ones that have three sections, love those!) and disposable cups. Napkins would be stacked high in your hands as if they were towels. Messy and barbeques to me are happy synonyms.

Once we went to a barbecue at Charlotte’s house, (“Charlotte of the charmed life” as I call her) the table was like a set directly from a page right out of Martha Stewart Living. Everything matched, the beige, ironed linen table-cloth ( l-i-n-e-n),  the highest quality count, and the china decorated with large blue and yellow flowers bursting on the plates.  Of course, all the bowls, the silver utensils, they all matched perfectly as I watched in unmitigated horror and delight. This is not what I thought I was coming to, I felt under-dressed and ill at ease. It was absolute perfection just not MY type of perfection. It was for high-class people with lots of money and so very different from our dinners and us.

We dined on steak and salmon, ( I hid my salmon) a glossy arrangement of bright green, yellow and red fresh vegetables and imported cheeses. There were no sticky fingers and plastic glasses of lemonade, just a beautiful crystal pitcher filled with ice water, ice cubes that were in the shape of tropical fruit. I was afraid to eat, afraid to get the napkins dirty so I ate slowly and carefully and with my luck, ended up leaving a stain on the tablecloth which I fervently tried to hide underneath the matching napkin. There were no s’mores at this dinner, it was too elegant. We had assorted cookies from the expensive bakery in town shaped and iced beautifully like flowers and cars and ice cream cones but utterly tasteless.

At our barbeques we have cherry, blueberry and apple crumb pies glistening on the table inside with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream readily waiting in our freezer. I make my home-baked banana raisin-chocolate chip loaf and there would always, I mean always, be a chocolate cake and brownies.

I put my nephew, Jon, in charge of music so the sounds of Neil Young,  Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and various other oldies will be playing out the window like the days when music screamed from dorm rooms. It isn’t fancy or elegant and it may just be ordinary but I guarantee you, there will be, a lot of food, including s’mores and an equal amount of laughter. Hope you can come.