Soggy Slippers and All
…by Julie Clark Robinson
“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
-Susan J. Bissonette
Every day I wake up a little more giddy than the day before. Steaming
cup of coffee in hand, I challenge my slippers to take on the dew and
head out the door to see, literally, what\’s new. I give a nod of
acceptance that the daffodils – whose emergence a few weeks back felt
more glorious to me than any 4th of July fireworks show – are on their
I wonder if my neighbors think I\’m nuts. “Of course they do,” I tell
myself. We\’re the family who moved in, during an ice storm, just ten
days before Christmas. We\’re the family with a giant Santa on the porch
before the refrigerator was delivered. We pluck worms off the driveway
after the rain and rush them inside (to feed the lizards). They don\’t
even know my name yet, but they\’ve undoubtedly noticed that I trail
behind my kids en route to the bus stop wearing soggy slippers. They
know that several times a day I meander around my yard inspecting tiny
buds with all the geeky intensity of the Professor on “Gilligan\’s
Island.” Neighbors know all.
The way I see it, a person only gets one springtime in a new house.
With every soon-to-be bloom, I\’m reminded that even though we bought
this house because we loved the staircase off the kitchen, every drop
of rain and every bump up the thermometer brings a new reason to
justify that shiny new mortgage payment. I\’ve got my eye on a row of
bushes outside our bedroom windows that I\’m hoping are lilacs. In a few
days, I\’ll have my answer.
Even as I marvel at how much a fully wooded lot can add to the natural
soundtrack of a home…ribbit, chirp, chirp, coo, ribbit…I can\’t help but
wonder how I\’ll feel next spring. (As the author of a book with an
ambitious title like “Live in the Moment”, I continually chastise
myself for such thoughts.) Twelve months from now, I will already know
what secrets lay beneath the soggy soil — spring will be the same,
old, glorious spring.
The same, old, fragrant awakening from a long, groggy nap with ice-cold toes.
The same, old feast for the eyes as dogwood blossoms burst from mere sticks.
The same, old sense of liberation for bare arms as they surface from
somewhere within and feel the warmth of the sun instead of washable
Okay. So maybe worrying about next spring is a waste of precious
energy. Maybe I have better things to ponder before they vanish! I hear
a woodpecker and I need to know which tree he\’s in…
Activity Exercise: Walk around your yard (in your slippers?)
and try to see the awakening of your own personal world as if it\’s for
the very first time. Even if you live in a warm climate, something new
is happening out there and wouldn\’t you hate to miss it?