Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coming back

Last week, I went down to Florida to see my grandparents, who I haven’t visited for about three years.  I drove down with my two boys and my mother; my husband unable to get off work.  There are smells that will take me to their home outside of Jacksonville in an instant.  Sulfur, from the water there; the smell of pine trees when you walk out the door on a humid morning; dried eucalyptus; and now Tide detergent.  I know that Tide isn’t an obscure brand or anything, but for the past year, I’ve been making my own laundry detergent which is mainly scentless.  I used my grandmother’s washing machine to wash all the dirty clothes before packing to come back, and when I unpacked at home, the scent of Tide washed over me, bringing a little of my grandparents’ house with it.

Now I am home, and it’s officially spring.  In Florida, it was between 80 and 85 degrees the whole time we were there.  I felt like we just skipped a whole season.  Once back in Virginia, though, things were put right.  The high today is 61 degrees, and tomorrow it’s expected to be 49.  We celebrated the coming of spring by flying a kite.  Kite flying apparently takes some skill, a skill which I do not possess.  My husband does.  Lucky for me and Max, watching someone fly a kite can be almost as exhilarating.  Watching it struggle against the wind reminded me of carrying a child in the midst of a temper tantrum. First, they stiffen all their muscles, fighting you as you hold them.  When that tactic doesn’t work, out of nowhere they go completely limp, throwing off your balance as you struggle to keep them from falling through your arms.

When Ed flies the kite
When I fly the kite

The changing of the seasons does something to me, and the trip down to Florida is magnifying the effects.  The daffodils and forsythia are blooming, and all around there is new life.  Forward thinking predominates.  But, when the weather changes, nostalgia fills me like a consumption.  I am torn between elation from the amazing, beautiful way Nature works, and a crippling sadness.  Down in Florida, being with my kids in the place I spent summers when I was a child, it was strange.  I felt like I was remembering things that haven’t happened yet. 

I just made a pie that didn’t turn out, and that is bothering me much more than it should. 

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