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There’s a Season for All Things
When March arrives with sweeping gales
That bend the trees and split the sails,
And people have a lively chase
For hats that will not keep their place,
Then to the field the Brownies bring
Their home-made kites and balls of string'
And there for hours they run about,
Now holding down, now letting out,
And shouting as they see them rise
Like birds when soaring to the skies.
March already! The seasons are sliding downhill on a slippery slope. Sometimes my thoughts are as vagrant as a kite: willy-nilly, they spin and float, and the least little breeze sends them off on unforeseen directions where I learn new lessons about myself and about the process of living.
The above poem is from the charming Brownie Book by Palmer Cox that was my father's birthday gift in March of 1895. Bill, Vicki and I were never very successful at flying kites, unlike the boys depicted in The Kite Runner, a novel and movie about Afghanistan where kite flying was a beloved sport until the Taliban banned it. (Brr!)
As we set off for the snowy climes of Michigan, I heard a robin chirruping behind our house. It would be nice to believe that spring is here, but I know better. A few robins always show up early and then peck sadly at the frozen earth. It wasn't springtime in my heart. We stopped at Vicki's for a family brunch. Grandson Bill used his precious four-day pass to fly home before shipping out to Kuwait for a few weeks and thence to Iraq. When the time came to say goodbye, we looked silently into each other's eyes. ... Sometimes no spoken word can contain the inexpressible language of the heart.
"Come with me, darling!" Auntie Mame Dennis would say -usually a prelude to adventure. "Live!" was her mantra, and live she did in spite of times when she was impoverished or in the throes of some disaster such as becoming widowed or losing her job. Through good times and bad, she never lost her joie de vivre, generous spirit and abiding optimism. She didn't conform to the placid standards of the majority. She didn't always do the done thing, but lived according to her own imperative which included standing up against prejudice and dispensing unconditional affection to all comers.
"Come with me to the ski resort at Boyne Mountain," said Bill's niece who is the living personification of Mame Dennis and whose life parallels hers in many ways. "I have four free condos! A bunch of friends and Carrie (her stepdaughter) are joining me, and I want you guys to come." "But we don't ski, and we're a lot older than the rest of you." "Come on, it'll be fun!" Her credo is that you can never have too much fun. Lynn is irresistible. She talked us into going to Tucson, Arizona - a place that we had absolutely no desire to visit - by showing up at our home with travel guides.
Oh how I envied the others as they swooped gracefully down the slopes. "I'll sneak out and go take a lesson on the bunny slope," I thought to myself. "Surely I could manage that." I was glad that common sense had prevailed when one of the fellows came back with an aching knee and another one - a beginner - returned with a big lump on his forehead! On the other hand, I'll never know if I could have done it.
I hate to give up ... I absolutely hate to give up ... However, there is a time and a season for all things, and I decided that this was my season for a day at the spa. What fun to soak in the outdoor hot tub while snowflakes swirled around my head! Then came the steam room and the sauna-things that I had never tried before. I wish that I had a sauna at home. Just as I love basking in the summer sun, it was wonderful to let the dry warmth of the sauna soothe my aching bones. … Ah. … Surely I was a sybarite in a former existence-or perhaps I shall return as one.
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