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Life begins anew in the spring

April 6, 2010

Sometimes the wisdom of an exhale hangs with you like a lingering sunset.

My first husband’s brother David was sitting on an old picnic table bench in our backyard one warm April afternoon, having a cigarette and staring past the ragged shed we swore we’d demolish to a wall of delicate pink Simplicity roses that lined the back of our property. They were beginning to blossom. You could see the pink poking through pale green buds. They slowly pushed the brown of a Northeast winter away. Fresh leaves hid the thorns. At their feet were rows of multicolored crocus flowers. Yellow daffodils dot the flower bed.

We didn’t have a fabulous garden, but it was ours. We learned there. Sometimes I felt like we were always making excuses for what we really wanted that home to be. “Eventually we’ll do this and then we’ll do that.” We were probably a bit annoying, but like anyone in their first home we were dreaming. It was our 75 x 100 slice of the American dream in a little backward bay shore town.

David, who was in his late 20’s at the time, had a great ability to enjoy the moment. He didn’t worry about 30 years from now. He worked until he could afford his next vacation. He lived. He appreciated the beauty of simple things and quiet moments. He was the kind of friend that everyone wants: one who unexpectedly goes out of their way for you. He made little details important. He sent notes through the mail. He gave you a nickname. He remembered your birthday. While we were very different people, I adored him.

I was outside with him thinking about my giant to-do list for the yard when David exhaled and blew a lung-full of smoke skyward.

“I love the springtime,” he said, “because life begins anew. Everything gets a fresh start in the springtime.”

How right he was. I saw my life and my home differently after that. I have never lost that moment or his words. David left us at 31.  I’m still talking to him in the garden every spring. I can’t see daffodils or crocus flowers without thinking of him.

This weekend, just before Easter, I tracked into the open space surrounding my new neighborhood to shoot the random daffodils that are popping up on old trails. Buds are beginning to emerge on the trees and I can hear the robins singing to each other.  I just enjoyed the moment.  There is a section of my new neighborhood that lines the Rancocas Creek. The developer donated the last 20 acres to the county for a trail system, which the county has begun to build. You can’t stand at the lookout points along the trail and be tense. The serenity is overwhelming.  There is just too much to appreciate.  As I headed back home I walked over land that had already been excavated and prepped for development of the last of the townhomes. In a spot where basements will eventually be I found several varieties of daffodils. One was shaped like a Bunny.  My Easter Bunny daffodil.

David would have loved it. We would have sat there making jokes about it and then looked for shapes in the clouds. For a moment, it reminded me of all the power and beauty that spring brings.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nadine permalink
    April 6, 2010 1:35 pm

    What a pleasant surprise! Thank You.

  2. Mary Davin permalink
    April 9, 2010 12:34 pm

    Mary – I really loved reading your spring essay – written so beautifully! Have a wonderful spring!

    Mary Davin
    Sales Assistant at RP

    • April 11, 2010 11:14 pm

      Mary, Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog about Springtime. I am so eager to plant a Queen Elizabeth rose bush here in Rancocas Point in honor of Jirair Hovnanian. I don’t know if I have enough room in my one garden bed.

  3. Mary Davin permalink
    April 17, 2010 4:03 pm

    That’s really great Mary! I can’t wait to see your Queen Elizabeth roses blooming here at RP!

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