30 January 2006

Spring in January

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.
~ J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind.
~Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973


Today is glorious, but exceedingly odd ~ even for a January in Virginia. The Sunday sky promises snow, but deliveres billowy white clouds instead, the temperature hovering around 58 degrees. Southern to the core I may be, but I still like to have snow in January!

As is my usual custom, I walk the property line, my footprints becoming squishy little bogs that filled up with water as I pass. Stopping by the old barn to survey the meadows and count how many of the neighbor’s cows had broken through the barbed wire fence, a slight yet strong breeze reaches playfully for wisps of my hair that have escaped their silver prison.

I close my eyes as the sweet smell of wet hay washes over me. In an instant, I am taken back in time. The sensations and emotions are so real, I fancy I feel a younger version of myself run breathlessly past, long hair full of hay and mouth stained purple with blackberries. I turn around, keeping my eyes closed, half expecting to open them and see the old swing set restored to its place between two ancient maples, the gardens newly plowed and ready for the first planting and a litter of lab or German shepherd puppies, their eyes only just beginning to open. I can almost hear tatus working away in his workshop and mom calling for my sisters and me to come help shuck corn for supper and snap green beans for canning.

The breeze dies down and the moment is gone. I open my eyes. The swing set departed while my sisters were still small, the blackberries disappeared years ago, the gardens made way for Christmas trees that are now a full grown forest. And tatus and mom are not as strong as they were and a little more careworn. So much has changed, but family and land remain just as beautiful.
I tuck the moment away and head back towards the house, my senses and memory refreshed and restored.
Oremus pro invicem,
Mikaela
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