Today, after I taught my late afternoon class, I took a walk over the Charles River on the BU bridge. It was warm enough (above freezing) to enjoy a walk for a walk’s sake. And last week, the river thawed. This week it is already teeming with boat life: rowers from the universities and beyond the next bridge a flock of sailboats. The skyline of Boston glowing in the longer daylight.
In my trip into Boston in the morning, winding country roads take me to larger roads which take me to city roads. Along the way I pass by ponds, rivers, and marshes. In the dead of winter this (and all the others) pond is frozen so deeply that snow piles on top of it, the tracks of cross country skis draw lines over it like the wake of airplane lines in the sky. A dot in the middle of the pond is two old guys huddled over their ice fishing hole. But even though ice still encrusts this pond, it is an early spring ice, no longer bearing the weight of winter recreation–lest, as Amy March found, it gives way. It thaws and refreezes leaving the patterns of water’s play temporary stopped as if time froze–for just a minute, we hope.
For more on the Looking for Spring Photo Project.
One of my favorite annual traditions is the December Photo Project: a pic a day from Dec 1 ’til Christmas. It’s so fun to document the progress, the anticipation, the rhythm of the holiday season. For me, taking pictures of part of how I experience life. It helps me focus on a moment, to enjoy it a little more.
It’s March 24, the Vernal Equinox days ago. My backyard has been covered in snow and ice since the beginning of December. Do you realize that’s nearly a third of a year? I do love winter. But it’s hard to keep loving it at the end of March. When I’m ready to feel the warm sun on my face again. I’m ready to thaw out.
I’ve decided to take a picture a day for the next month; to help savor the anticipation and (hopeful) arrival of spring in Massachusetts. Living in a Northern climate makes this process all the more enthusiastic, because the contrast of the previous months is so stark.
Four weeks from today is Marathon Monday, the day of the Boston Marathon; also Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts. It is one of the biggest holidays in the state. And usually feels spring-ish by then. It seems like an appropriate cut-off point for the Picture Project.
So here goes. 28 pictures of Looking for Spring.
p.s. You may join me. But only if you live somewhere where you are still looking for spring. If your daffodils are blooming? forget it, spring is already there. Snow still on the ground? I feel your pain, let’s wait together.
Day 1: Feels like 3F at M’s bus drop off this morning. There’s not enough snow to warrant snow pants, but we miss the layer of warmth. M huddled inside my coat; our breath puffing in clouds. The rhododendron leaves are tightly constricted in the cold. The snow has thawed and refrozen so many times that a layer of ice crusts over the ground. But the angle of the sun belies the fact that we are Daylight Savings Time and past the equinox: we have more daylight than nightdark.
On Saturday my husband and I got tattoos.
Nearly thirteen years ago, two kids got married. Not having lived enough life to know that life isn’t what you think it will be. We were newlyweds under the live-oaks of Louisiana; we became parents in Philadelphia; and we dug a root down in Massachusetts. A stake, a root, an Ebenezer. We have been through a darkness. We are healing from many years’ hurts. Through Grace, we have weathered them like oak trees: adaptable, sustaining, growing, changing in shape, shedding leaves, and growing new ones.
One evening a few months ago, we saw each other with fresh eyes. And promised our love once again. This time instead of rings, we wrote each other on our bodies. For the past several years we’ve been talking about getting them for our fifteenth anniversary, but it needed to be now.
It needed to hurt. Tattoos hurt. It’s a searing pain that you become accustomed to over the hours the needles dig into your flesh. But it’s a hurt that heals and leaves a beautiful picture.