Tag Archives: Spring

Rebekah’s (New) Pandemic Diary, Entry #1 – The Salt on My Windows

3 Jan

This is entry one of, I hope, many. None of them planned. They will each represent where I am at in a given moment with the goal of sharing my feelings, rather than suffering in them alone. I hope you start documenting, too. Whether to share, or for just yourself. I am always open to read your thoughts so comment or feel free to email them to franklyrebekah@gmail.com. They will be safe with me.

If reading this is too much for you, please skip. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel more overwhelmed than you undoubtedly already do. I am just hopeful that by sharing my honest feelings, some people feeling similarly will feel a little less alone. And, in turn, so will I.

And with that, let us begin.

It is Sunday, January 3rd and I have hardly left my house since the New Year. The sky has largely been overcast and honestly, walking outside and knowing that we are still in the crush of this feels like too much to bear. It feels better to stay inside, pacing back and forth between the two rooms of my apartment, petting my cats and pretending that when the calendar went from 2020 to 2021 everything magically changed. Since I’ve been inside here quite a bit, I am going to tell you a little bit about my house so it feels as though you are here with me, hanging out. (Thinking about that makes me a little sad – because I miss you – but also smile, because wouldn’t it be so magical if you could just….come over?)

I am sitting at the table in my kitchen, sometimes glancing to the side and out some windows which, I have been noticing over the past few days, are dirty with the salt that was kicked up after the recent snowstorm. It gives the impression that it is always raining – the salt stains are reminiscent of the raindrops that accumulate during a light spring rain, or the proof left over from a summer storm. I can look at it and think about how dreary it is – the overcast sky, some windows that look like they’re always in the midst of some inclement weather – or I can focus on hope, on rain as a rejuvenating force. It really depends on where my mind is at whether I land on despair or promise. What doesn’t change is that a few times I day I meander over to the front door, flip the lock and swing it open to see if it is rain on the window after all, and that the salt is just distorting reality. Sometimes it is.

I then let my eyes wander to my side of the glass, to the plants that clamber and grow towards the light of the sun, however uncommon its appearance has been recently. For them, the pandemic never happened. They continue to grow, undeterred. One of them even has a flower, a red, waxy kind of thing that won’t die until a new one has grown to take its place. I find a lot of comfort in its longevity and predictability – I know a flower’s time is nearing its end when a new stalk starts springing up, eager to inherit the spotlight. Then I get treated with a new splash of red, holding space until the next one appears.

It makes me think of last spring; back when this thing was just starting to truly alter our reality, back when we didn’t know what the next months would hold. We were full of fear for what our city was enduring but also, in my case at least, a bit of hope – hope that the rest of the country would take our plight as an example and do what they could to avoid our fate. We now know that didn’t happen, not even close. But back then, on those first warm days, Eric and I washed the windows to let the light pour in. I stood, rag and cleaning solution in hand, face covered, and cleaned all the grime from the previous year. It’s amazing how much filth can gather, how it can trick the eye. We think we are looking through something crystal clear but it is somehow distorted – it is our eyes and our brains that let us see beyond all that. I remember feeling as though I had cleansed my little corner of the world only to see my work undone over time by countless cars and street cleaners. The hours spent inside gazing longingly out the windows eventually turned into gazing at the glass itself. And noticing, for the first time ever, these salt deposits that probably spend winter perched on the windows every year. I can’t wait to wash it off.

And now, sharing this with you, I feel anticipation for the warm weather and the hopefulness of spring – however far away that might feel right now. I’m excited for our little potted maple tree to grow new leaves that, ultimately, will get burned by the sun. I am reminded that I want to buy an umbrella for our small “patio,” to provide the tree, and myself, some respite from the unyielding light. I hope that our rosemary bush, finally established, will last through the winter – I choose to ignore the climate implications of this. And I so badly wish that when the crocuses and tulips start pushing through the dirt in early spring, that we too enter into a season of rebirth, rather than the unnecessary sickness, pain and death that continued with the arrival of spring last year.

But for now, I am going to force myself outside for some fresh air. These windows will be here when I get back.

April, You Stink

25 Apr

April is not my month, never has been.  For some reason, however, I always forget what bad luck April seems to bring.  All I can do is think about the sun on my face, the trees in bloom, the longer and longer days, the coming of summer.  I plan visits to the beach and a good vacation.  I put my winter coats away, vowing to not wear them again until the cold returns in the fall, not caring if this means I am a little chilly here and there.  I always approach April with so much optimism and am so shocked when April, once again, fails me.  What is it with April?

April was the month, three years ago, when I had my heart broken.  Rather than being out enjoying the beautiful weather, running around the park, eating outside, I spent days crying on my bathroom floor.  I remember walking outside the day after it happened, the day when I felt like the floor was ripped out from under my feet, and being angry at April.  Being angry at the perfect weather.  I felt resentment towards the warm breeze and the beautiful flowers.  How can they all be so pretty, so alive, when I felt so miserable?  How can the world just, continue?

April is also the month of horrible (domestic) things, most recently the Boston Marathon bombing.  But there’s also the Virgina Tech Massacre, Waco, the Oklahoma City Bombing.  Something about April, I don’t know.  Maybe all the energy people had stored up over the winter, maybe all the anger, just comes barreling out at this first sign of Spring and optimism.  Maybe all the time spent cooped up indoors was spent planning out evil rather than dreaming about warmer days.  Maybe it’s a resentment towards the happiness of others.  Who knows.  But there is something about April.

This April for me has been tough.  It always seems to be.  It’s been topsy-turvy and unpredictable.  But it has also been great. I had my best blog day ever, albeit a blog written about an event I wish never happened, a blog I wish I never had to write.  I participated in a conference at school and, at the risk of sounding self-impressed, I killed it.  I started making some serious progress in my thesis and have started to believe I might actually be able to finish this thing. I discovered that OB has started selling the Ultras again, which basically improves my life exponentially.  Bought two boxes yesterday.

So, April, I am glad you are almost over, I’m not going to lie.  But this year, I think I will remember you for the good you brought rather than the bad and maybe that change in outlook towards you will change your treatment towards me. I will approach you with optimism, tempered with trepidation.   I won’t forget the bad, like I sometimes do, but I will choose to cast it aside.  We’ll see how this works.  Guess we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.