Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Touch of Melancholy Spring


It is raining today. It has been raining here in Southern Illinois for over twenty-four hours--the flip side of the tender blessings of spring. Our pond overflowed its banks yesterday, sending torrents of brown water over the dam that is our driveway and up onto the boardwalk steps leading to the gazebo. When I awoke this morning, I was amazed to see that the pond had receded almost back to its banks, but the creek on the other side of the dam still sounds like whitewater. (The photo is from abc.com--I am not so brave. But our creek looks much the same.)

I have my happy light on beside me. The gray days of March are almost as much of a challenge for my S.A.D. as November. But it's not all about the sky, today.

I hope you'll drop by Patry Francis's most recent blog. (If you're not familiar with Patry, and The Liar's Diary Blog Day, start here.) Her cancer surgery last week did not go well and it had to be repeated yesterday. But Patry writes about it with amazing strength and, yes, humor. Patry herself is such a gift, and there really should be a better word invented than "inspiring" for her approach to life.

My daughter, Pomegranate, took off for Italy and France with her grandparents yesterday. I wrote about it for Mid-Century Modern Moms. I happened to catch her on the phone a few minutes before she boarded the plane at Dulles and she sounded very businesslike. When she returns in April, I think I will mention that the phrase, "This is good-bye, Mama," is not the last thing a mother wants to hear before her daughter gets on an airplane. I miss her deeply.

The other day I heard an interesting theory about the region in which we now live. Southern Illinois is prone to tornadoes and floods and sudden dramatic shifts in the weather. It is, I think, an enchanted, unpredictable sort of place. Between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago, glaciers came down out of the Lake Michigan basin and stopped about ten or fifteen miles north of the gently rolling hills where our house is located. You can tell the area from which the glacier retreated because it's flat, flat, flat for hundreds of miles. Here is the theory about the strangeness of this place: This region was--for a long period of time--constantly buffeted by competing elements. The surrounding conditions that glaciers require are not particularly hospitable to human life. But not too far away, the land was arable, and covered with vegetation. Perhaps it is that we haven't quite recovered from the conflict--the earth's memory is long, measuring things in centuries and cycles rather than moments and days and weeks. Or, perhaps, the conflict is still, somehow, going on.

I am watching the pond again today, and am grateful that the drought the area suffered this summer is, no doubt, over. These things that are happening now will become other things tomorrow. There will be sun again, for a while. And I'm happy to know that is something more than a theory.

3 comments:

paris parfait said...

Oh it is tough, when a daughter boards the plane! Hope she has a wonderful time and sends you lots of messages so as not to worry. (And I went to j-school at SIU!)

paris parfait said...

And am going to read Patry's piece now - last time I checked, she hadn't posted. Thanks for the heads up.

Laura said...

Patry's blog is so moving, Tara. I started out in tears this morning. She posted late today and said they are feeling positive and full of hope. That's a good thing.

J-School at SIU? You know exactly what I'm talking about!