April Showers Bring May Flowers: We’ve had a long, wet, cold winter here and we’re ready for spring. Show us a photo of your “April showers” and tell us all about it.”
It snowed yesterday. I went out to walk the dog in the morning and there was a dusting of snow on cars; a slick of ice on the pavement.
What the hell..?
I was not expecting that.
Truth is: I have not been expecting much of anything that has happened this year. Or any year of the last decade or so, for that matter.
Then again, no one really expects a hurricane and a malignancy within the first ten days of changing the calendar. Everything else following that has seemed like a chaotic anticlimax.
Unrelated to climaxes, but related to the idea of it being April, last week I remembered that I have been keeping a journal in the format I do now for 20 years this month. There are a few notebooks kicking around from the year or two prior to that, but for the last 20 years, I have meticulously documented my life in neat spiral-bound, and cloth-bound, and eventually Moleskine notebooks that are lined up on a shelf in my bedroom.
This means I can look back to most dates, or date-ranges, and be able to tell you what I was doing or thinking or experiencing then. I have my present-sense impressions from being a teenager; I have deeply descriptive narratives regarding sleepovers, and nights at the movies, and friends who are still friends now, and friends who I just exchange Christmas cards with, and friends who faded into the ether and aren’t even on Facebook.
Twenty years ago, my predictions of who and what my future self would be like are startlingly accurate as to who I turned out to be. The bit in the middle — between then and now — has turned out to be much messier and less accurate than I expected.
It seems strange, sometimes, to have so much information about myself. The notebooks don’t take up a ton of space, so it’s not like a weird and obvious Library of Me on display in my home. But when memory plays cruel tricks, or I think something was one way and my recollection doesn’t seem to jive with reality, I can prove to myself what was and what wasn’t.
As a lawyer, I am very obsessed with proof.
Anyway, I suppose the point is this: It has been a long, dark, wet, and freezing winter. And there are moments, now, even when I look back ten, twenty years, that everything seems…light. Like I finally have the freedom to be who I am and who I want to be — maybe because I’m older; maybe because I have the means to do it and be it; or maybe because I’ve just reached That Moment of being ready to be free.
Twenty years ago, the things that seemed like Big Deals were mostly, not really big deals at all.
And likewise, this morning, the snow on the ground gave way to the little white blossoms opening on all the trees on my street despite the frosty afternoon.
Things change. And change is good.