Budding

We’ve reached that time of year when I find myself compulsively checking my photos and blog posts from last year, wondering when spring will really arrive in New England. We’ve had a smattering of signs: snowdrops and crocuses, the first soaring turkey vultures and singing red-winged blackbirds. But the trees haven’t begun to sprout leaves, as they had this time last year, so the landscape is largely gray and barren. Spring is coming, slowly, but it seems to be taking its sweet time.

Budding and blooming

My body, too, is being uncooperative, last week’s chest cold becoming bronchitis. I’ve faced enough colds-become-bronchitis to know you simply have to wait until your lungs clear, your strength returns, and your ribs stop aching from frequent coughing. But in the meantime, I find myself losing patience: why can’t my body be better, now, and why can’t it also be warmer, greener, and more colorful?

If the name of the month is any indication, March should be a season of motion, the year marching and even springing forward. This year, however, March is more about waiting and lagging, both the landscape and my body reminding me that everything comes in its own due time, and no sooner. I want to be outside and walking, my body light and carefree in short-sleeves and sandals: instead, even modest walks leave me winded, a member (once again) of the walking wounded. I’ll be better—and the landscape will be greener—soon enough. In the meantime, both the earth and my body keep whispering “Not yet.”