The weather is still cold and blustery. The storm that has pounded the East Coast for days is hanging on, bringing recent awareness of global warming consequences into sharp relief. Today’s news warns of GW-related water troubles; all of us will suffer the loss of fresh water, and our coastal neighborhood is one of those prone to more severe storms and rising sea levels. “Water, water everywhere … and not a drop to drink” mourned the Ancient Mariner.
Aquatic feast and famine.
Yesterday, one of our sisters tried to drive a guest down to New York City. But all four access routes were under water in one place or another, and they finally gave up and came home. We live high up the side of a good-sized hill, but even here the rainfall has over-saturated the water table, creeping up the foundation walls and into the basement.
With no end in sight, we look out onto deep gray skies, avoiding outside trips whenever we can. These days give “bone-chilling” real meaning. We’ve passed tax day, and still we dress in sweatered layers and augment the boiler’s effort with roaring fires.
But the push of spring is on; the cold and wind and rain are not enough to cancel her arrival plans.
Birdsong is loaded with mating calls; the ducks (who thrive in this weather) make daily excursions around the property, racing each other to snatch tasty worms as they come up for air; the daffodils and primrose have bloomed, the lilac leaf-buds are swelling into identity, the forsythia are again threatening ownership of the north yard, and in spite of my best efforts, the peonies are thriving.
The hands of my own internal season timer are pointing to spring o’clock, too. I continue to awaken earlier and earlier as the sun speeds up on its journey to the northern sky. Consciously, I’d love to have spent my rest day curled up with a good murder mystery, but deep inside, the push toward activity was stronger than the winter-quiet leaning into solitude and stillness.
I sat down to read, but before I knew it I had the dresser drawers stacked beside me. I couldn’t help myself—the desire for cleaning and ordering overpowered the rainy-day logic of laying low. Spring cleaning: way beyond the usual dust and sweep thing, this is the drive to lay my hands on every item, throw out anything I haven’t touched for the past six months, take the cover off the computer and blow out the dust and cobwebs (no kidding), change the little towel under the cat’s food dish, wash windows.
Well, that will have to wait for another day, of course. But you get the idea.
I don’t know if this pull toward cleaning is something women are born with, or if it is trained into us. I have yet to meet a man who has this affliction, though I’ll bet a few do. And some women don’t. But I surely do, and it’s a powerful, satisfying urge that I don’t deny myself each year.
I’m not sure I could if I tried.