Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Do you do windows?
Colorado has long, langorous Springs. Crocus buds pop in early February, daffodils and grape hyacinth poke up and tempt us to expect their flowers in early March. Jonquils, trillium, phlox poke from behind their rocky perches. Bird songs and earth smells, of living things emerging, flirt with our senses. Flirt is the word for it, though, because they all come and go. I don't think we've ever had crocuses (crocii) that aren't smothered at some point by snow. Daffodils bloom through it. Birds get swept off their course by our high winds. The signs of springtime tempt and distract us, we sit in the hot sun for morning coffee. We bask in the still warm late afternoon rays. Last year we welcomed a family of foxes to nest under our deck (did we really have a choice?). They overstayed their welcome, by the way, so we fenced them out this year. Cute little kits romping up and down, on and off the benches and the sofa, chasing around the posts and pouncing from the hot tub cover were cute -- once -- but they pooped all over the deck, they munched on the furniture cushions, and they kind of freaked out the dog. And they stayed until July, for heaven's sake! Enough. Woodpeakers in the neighborhood, thankfully not on our house, and yellow jackets are not the most welcome signs of spring but they do remind us of change in the works. And then, after this back and forth, of warm days and wet, sloppy snows, one day enjoying a barbeque, the next day shoveling twelve inches of snow, after all this flirtation, finally, the buds pop! Forsythia, and red bud and apple and plum and pear and every variation known to nature burst out and the fragrance is intoxicating. This year, we're lucky! The blossoms weren't snowed out or quickly ruined, no late freeze ruined their bloom. And now we have all the fruit trees and red bud and the lilacs have joined the party. And they're everywhere. Everywhere! I don't remember so many blooming trees when I was growing up here. But now they have become part of the pathways through every neighborhood and along every street. And oh, my. Oh, how wonderful! This prompts me to do two things. I go way out of my way to drive through the prettiest neighborhoods, down the loveliest streets and past the most gorgeous trees. Life is made for this: to get drunk on the sweetness of blossoms. The other thing I do, roll down the windows. (And open the house windows.) As I drive around this time of year, as the fragrances permeate the air, I keep the windows down in the car. I do windows. But this is what I've noticed. Take this morning as a case in point. I had a dozen errands to do, all up and down several main streets and along a number of quieter side streets. Remembering that I'm also on the lookout to drive past the most lovely scenes, there were plenty of fragrant trees and a nice warm breeze to enjoy. And nobody else had their windows rolled down. We live insular and insulated lives. Especially in suburbia. We keep ourselves to ourselves. I drive around with my iPod plugged in and the volume turned up. I never really have to worry about disturbing other drivers because they're in their cars, completely cut off from me. We pass without being engaged with one another. We pass through the natural world without letting its fresh air touch us. It's well known that I arrive wind blown wherever I go. It's well known that I do windows. Do you?